Author books a spot on prized list

TOM HUNT
Last updated 05:00 25/07/2013
Eleanor Catton
FAIRFAX NZ

FLABBERGASTED: Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries, was surprised to make the Man Booker Prize list.

Relevant offers

Books

North Shore family fundraise to publish Persian children's book The Handmaid's Tale and the power of dystopian fiction in the Trump era Glyn Harper has five books in the works Caitlyn Jenner talks of suicide, secrets in new tell-all book Author and poet Tourettes bringing his own style of teaching to the capital Destiny's Child reunite (briefly) Teju Cole: author, photographer and Tweeter-in-recovery Angela Walker: Solving the mystery of my father's smuggled wartime letter A Life Story - Dr Teresia Teaiwa, 'leading light' of the Pacific, dies, 48 The 'bitter dispute' that led to Ed Hillary knocking off Everest

The long-distance call came about 8pm while Eleanor Catton was cooking dinner.

"Everything is about to change, your life is about to change," the voice from England said. By yesterday morning, her email inbox was filling with messages of congratulations.

The 27-year-old former Cantabrian, a 2007 graduate of Victoria University's International Institute of Modern Letters creative writing course, has made the longlist for the 2013 Man Booker Prize for fiction for her second novel, The Luminaries.

The Man Booker is considered one of the world's most prestigious literary award.

Catton lived in Christchurch during her teens, attending Burnside High School, and later studying English at the University of Canterbury.

The news about the Man Booker Prize came via her British publisher while she was cooking dinner at home in Auckland.

"I was just flabbergasted," she said.

She opened a bottle of pinot noir at home to celebrate after the Tuesday night phone call, then went out for breakfast yesterday morning before heading to her part-time job teaching creative writing at Manukau Institute of Technology.

Catton is the youngest writer on the list of 13 finalists.

Writers who reached high levels tended to be older, she said. "You need to read so much to kind of learn your craft . . . I read a lot as a child so maybe I got in there quite young."

The longlist will be cut down to a shortlist on September 10, when she will coincidentally be in England for the British release of The Luminaries. The winner will be named on October 15.

The book will be released in New Zealand early next month.

Wellington author Lloyd Jones was shortlisted in 2007 for Mister Pip. Fairfax NZ

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content