Eleanor Catton, an author from New Zealand, has won the Man Booker Prize “the world’s most important literary award [which] has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers” with her book The Luminaries published by Victoria University Press and Granta. It is a book set in the goldfields of Hokitika in 1866 (like Hokitika Town by Charlotte Randall) and this is how Claire Armitstead argued that it should be the winner.
The Man Booker prize is awarded every year to the best original full-length novel written in English by someone living in the Commonwealth. In the 44 years that the prize has been awarded Eleanor Catton is the youngest writer to have won.The prize includes a cash sum of NZ $95,000 which Eleanor Catton described as “…so much money. And it’s more than riches; it’s wealth.”
Eleanor was born in Canada in 1985, raised in the South Island of New Zealand (her mother used to be the Children’s Librarian at Fendalton Public Library in Christchurch), and currently lives in Mount Eden, Auckland and works at Manukau Institute of Technology. She studied English in Canterbury, did a Masters in Creative Writing at Victoria, as well as a Masters in Fine Arts at Iowa.
Her first novel The Rehearsal was published in 2008 and as Mark Broatch wrote “was also experimental to some degree”. You can find a copy of The Rehearsal in the library, as well as an eBook version of The Luminaries.
Follow Eleanor Catton on Twitter
See part of Eleanor’s acceptance speech here.
See Carole Beu from The Women’s Bookshop, Ponsonby, Auckland, reviewing The Luminaries on FaceTV with Lindsey Dawson here.