Eleanor Catton was born in 1985 in Canada and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand. She won the 2007 Sunday Star-Times short-story competition, the 2008 Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship to the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the 2008 Louis Johnson New Writers' Bursary and was named as one of Amazon's Rising Stars in 2009. Her debut novel, The Rehearsal, won the Betty Trask Prize, the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the Prix Femina literature award, the abroad category of the Prix Médicis, the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize 2010 and Stonewall's Writer of the Year Award 2011, and longlisted for the Orange Prize 2010. In 2010 she was awarded the New Zealand Arts Foundation New Generation Award.
Eleanor's second novel The Luminaries was the winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize and the 2013 Governor General's Literary Award.
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.
The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction. It is full of narrative, linguistic and psychological pleasures, and has a fiendishly clever and original structuring device. Written in pitch-perfect historical register, richly evoking a mid-19th century world of shipping and banking and goldrush boom and bust, it is also a ghost story, and a gripping mystery. It is a thrilling achievement and will confirm for critics and readers that Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.
A high-school sex scandal jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own potency and power. The publicity seems to turn every act into a performance and every platform into a stage. But when the local drama school decides to turn the scandal into a show, the real world and the world of the theatre are forced to meet, and soon the boundaries between private and public begin to dissolve ... The Rehearsal is an exhilarating and provocative novel about the unsimple mess of human desire, at once a tender evocation of its young protagonists and a shrewd expose of emotional compromise.
Eleanor Catton is an award-winning author and screenwriter. Her debut novel, The Rehearsal, won numerous awards including the Betty Trask Prize, the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, among others. The novel has since been adapted for the screen by writer-director Alison Maclean and stars Alice Englert, Kerry Fox and Kieran Charnock. It is due for release late 2016.
Eleanor's second novel The Luminaries was a huge critical success winning both the Man Booker Prize 2013 and the Governor General's Literary Award 2013 . Working Title have optioned the title to develop as a TV series and Eleanor is adapting herself.
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