Eleanor Catton back in Hokitika

TV series based on The Luminaries is planned

Last updated 17:09 13/03/2014
Eleanor Catton, publicist Kirsten McDougall and writer Elizabeth Knox
Fergus Barrowman

WEST COAST VISITORS: Author Eleanor Catton, publicist Kirsten McDougall and writer Elizabeth Knox visit Hokitika.

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Award-winning novelist Eleanor Catton is back in Hokitika for the first time since her novel The Luminaries won the ManBooker prize - this time with a TV producer.

Five months ago, Catton aged 28, became the youngest person to win the prize in its 45-year history for her 832-page book set in Hokitika.

Catton was on the West Coast today with television producer Andrew Woodhead and publisher Fergus Barrowman.

Catton has welcomed plans for a TV series, though said she would "insist on location" as New Zealand's flora and fauna could not be found anywhere else in the world.

"Some things I wouldn't compromise on: it wouldn't make sense to be filmed anywhere else. I don't even know if I could put my foot down about that, but if I could, I will."

Catton has previously said a clause in the contract she had signed with producers prevented them killing off any of the book's characters without her permission.

Westland mayor Mike Havill has said that many of the places described in Catton's novel remained unchanged since its setting during the 1860s gold rush. "I'm sure they'll find some great locations here."

Barrowman, whose Victoria University Press was the New Zealand publisher of The Luminaries, tweeted a picture of Catton rugged up against the West Coast wind, with publicist Kirsten McDougall and Wellington writer Elizabeth Knox.

Tonight Catton will be joined by British publisher Max Porter for a public question and answer session on The Luminaries at the Regent Theatre.

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