From the Globe & Mail: Eleanor Catton, a Canadian-born writer who grew up in New Zealand, was named the winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize on Tuesday evening at a gala reception in London.
Ms. Catton, 28, is the youngest-ever Booker winner. She takes home the award for The Luminaries, an epic-length Victorian-era murder mystery set amid the 1860s New Zealand gold rush that is structured on the astrological zodiac.
The novel, the longest ever to win the prize, “slowly but deeply staked its claim upon us,” said Robert Macfarlane, chair of the judges. “At 832 pages, it might seem like one of Henry James’s big, baggy monster novels. In fact, it’s as intricately structured as an orrery. It requires a huge investment of time from the reader, but the dividends it offers are astronomical.”
Ms. Catton is also a finalist for a Canadian Governor-General’s Literary Award, to be announced next month.
Considered one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world, the Booker is worth about $87,000, or £52,500. Now in its 45th year, it is awarded to an English-language novel written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. Starting next year, the citizenship restrictions will no longer apply.
Catton is the second Canadian to recently win a major international literary prize. Alice Munro won a Nobel Prize just last week. (See here.)
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