Eleanor Catton became the youngest Man Booker winner, with her book – The Luminaries – winning the most prestigious award in literature.
Eleanor Catton is the second New Zealander to win the Man Booker prize; the first being Keri Hulme who’d won the prize in 1985 for The Bone People.
From the long list of 151 contenders, only six – A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki, Harvest by Jim Crace, The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton, The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin, We Need New Names by Noviolet Bulawayo, had made to the finals.
An 832-page murder mystery, The Luminaries is set during a 19th-century gold rush.
Robert Macfarlane, the chair of judges, described the book as a “dazzling work, luminous, vast”. themanbookerprize.com quotes him as saying, “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”
When asked if the book’s bulk will put readers off, he said, “Length never poses a problem if it’s a great novel. The Luminaries is a novel you pan, as if for gold, and the returns are huge.”