New Zealand author Eleanor Catton won the £50,000 (about US$79,987) Man Booker Prize for her novel The Luminaries. In doing so, she established a pair of records as the youngest winner in the prize's history (she is 28, but completed it at age 27), as well as writing the longest winning novel (832 pages).
The Luminaries is the story of Walter Moody, arriving in New Zealand in 1866 to seek his fortune in the goldfields. He comes 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. Walter finds himself drawn into a series of unsolved crimes and complex mysteries.
Catton is also the author of The Rehearsal which was widely praised and nominated for awards including the Orange Prize and the Dylan Thomas Prize. She studied at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and was 25 when she began writing The Luminaries.
Chair of judges Robert Macfarlane described The Luminaries as a "dazzling work, luminous, vast...a book you sometimes feel lost in, fearing it to be 'a big baggy monster', but it turns out to be as tightly structured as an orrery...We read it three times and each time we dug into it the yields were extraordinary, its dividends astronomical."
The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize is the world's most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers.
Jacki @ Central