This year the Man Booker Prize went to 28-year-old Eleanor Catton for her 800-plus page novel about a murder mystery and a love story during a gold rush in New Zealand in the mid 1800's
“The Luminaries” is daunting second-novel, and it’s also a wildly unique one. The New York Times Review says reading the book is like “doing a Charlotte Brontë-themed crossword puzzle while playing chess and Dance Dance Revolution on a Bongo Board.”
It’s a boom and bust story, a thriller and a romance, all rolled into one, and at age 28, Catton is the youngest-ever winner of this prize. The last person to win from her homeland of New Zealand was Keri Hume in 1985, the year Ms. Catton was born.
As Eleanor Catton rides this wild wave of enthusiasm for her work, she sits down with The Takeaway to tell us more about what brought her to this moment.