The 28-year old Eleanor Catton won this year’s Man Booker prize for her novel, ‘The Luminaries’. The Auckland resident became the youngest author to win the Man Booker’s history. Catton was born in Canada and brought up in New Zealand. Her debut novel was The Rehearsal.
The award was announced on Wednesday morning from London’s Guildhall. She received a cheque for £50,000.
“‘The Luminaries’ is a magnificent novel: awesome in its structural complexity; addictive in its story-telling; and magical in its conjuring of a world of greed and gold,” Chair of judges Robert Macfarlane said.
“Animated by a weird struggle between compulsion and conversion: within its pages, men and women proceed according to their fixed fates, while gold – as flakes, nuggets, coins and bars – ceaselessly shifts its shapes around them,” he added.
“I’ve actually just had to buy a new handbag because my old handbag wasn’t big enough to fit my book,” Catton told reporters.
“With The Luminaries I had a question that I wanted to ask, and the question led me in my research from book to book, and in my writing from scene to scene, and I still do not feel that I have answered the question in a definitive sense, but the book is the answer to that question,” Ms. Catton said.
The other short listed novels were:
Harvest, by Jim Crace;
The Last Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin;
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki;
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri;
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo;