The Man Booker prize, awarded for fiction in English, was won yesterday by the Canadian born New Zealand author, Eleanor Catton, for her novel The Luminaries.
It has nothing to do with science fiction, but has found its way to my blog nonetheless. For three reasons:
- New Zealand was one of the countries I visited on my GUFF trip and I feel the need to promote New Zealand author to
- Eleanor Cattor is at 28, the youngest winner in the award’s 45-year history, and last year she was the youngest author to ever be shortlisted for it.
- The Luminaries is the longest work ever to have won this award. (848 pages!) The novel, set in 19th century New Zealand, follows the life Walter Moody, who seeks his fortune in the goldfields of NZ and soon gets involved in a mystery of unsolved crimes.
Catton has won $79,800 and global recognition, which usually means many, many sales. Makes me very glad because even though they write in English and in theory have the whole world at their feet, NZ authors, just like Australian ones, are much in the same position as Croatian authors – writing fiction is seldom their primary and bread-winning occupation. Catton for instance, teaches creative writing at the Manukau Institute of Technology.
This year the Man Booker was up for grabs to all authors writing in English not just exclusively to those from the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Commonwealth. So, the shortlist is more varied and fun to explore this year.
- Canadian Ruth Ozeki, “A Tale for the Time Being”
- Indian-American Jhumpa Lahiri for “The Lowland”
- Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo for “We Need New Names”
- Briton Jim Crace for “Harvest”
- Irish Colm Toibin for “The Testament of Mary”.