Sunday, July 28, 2013

Eleanor Catton in Wellington and beyond

The extraordinary writer Eleanor Catton has done what few (only two?) New Zealanders have done before. At the tender age of 27 she has a novel on the Booker longlist: The Luminaries. And we in Wellington can see and hear this author at her book launch next Saturday 5 pm at Unity Books and at a Modern Letters' Writers on Monday event 5 August 12.15 at Te Papa.

I'm not surprised to hear of Eleanor Catton's success. She is a singular talent. Four years ago I reviewed her first novel The Rehearsal  in a blog post entitled Catton among the pigeons and, lost in a strange metaphor of my own making, said:

"This terribly-young author is already a cat-like phenomenon in the Big Book Square of the World with its greening statues of the famous and host of perching pigeons. She's won Best First Novel here and a similar award in the UK, and is lined up for more. The book reviewers and writers' festivals love her. One UK reviewer picked The Rehearsal as the future face of the novel."

There's a great write-up of Eleanor Catton's recent success by Robert Sullivan on the MIT website here where she teaches and a brief TV interview here.  I'm looking forward to reading The Luminaries - at 800+ pages I will need to put some significant time aside.


Paula Green said...

Great! As my review in Canvas yesterday underlines this is a remarkable book. I was lucky to read it with no background hype. I knew nothing about it ... Just started reading which is reading luxury I reckon (I say this as someone who loves reviewing books).

I do think we have a might fine community of fiction writers - young and old, from north to south, published by all of our publishers dedicated to fiction.

I reviewed a lot of NZ fiction sat year and I would sing its praises as highly as I sing NZ poetry's. don't know how to post a link to my review sorry on my IPad.

Paula Green said...

Whoops typing without glasses on IPad so comment full of slips and slides.

T. said...

Thanks for the recommendation!
I just reserved a copy of The Luminaries at my library. (But there's a waiting list, alal.)

Michelle said...

"...has done what few (only two?) New Zealanders have done before."

From top o' my head, I can think of three, counting Keri Hulm. Lloyd Jones also made the shortlist with Mister Pip.

Am looking forward to October 15th!

Anonymous said...

Whoops, sorry. You mention Eleanor and two others (makes three...). Early morning + insufficient coffee = poor comprehension skillz.
- Michelle