Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries has made the prestigious Man Booker Longlist for 2013.
Catton, 27, is the youngest writer on a list that includes well-established writers such as Colm Toibin, Jim Crace and Jhumpa Lahiri.
Speaking from her home in Auckland, Catton said 'I'm absolutely over the moon. I feel really proud to be flying the New Zealand flag, metaphorically speaking, and I hope that this nomination will help to bring more international attention to New Zealand literature and culture. I'm looking forward to reading all the other nominated titles in the coming weeks.’
The Luminaries is set in Hokitika in the gold-rush years of the 1860s. Wide in scope with a large cast of characters, the novel stretches over 848 pages and is an astonishing feat of storytelling.
Fergus Barrowman, publisher at Victoria University Press said, 'I've been carrying around The Luminaries like a big, golden secret for months. Readers are going to love the book. I'm so happy for Ellie that she's received this international recognition so early in the book's public life.'
The list announced last night includes thirteen novels.
Chair of judges Robert Macfarlane said: ‘After we the put the list together we tried to see what links them together, and all that linked them was how varied they are, in form, in tone, in length. I think they are all very contemporary – even the historical books look forward, and they are interested in disasters, whether financial or natural, and globalisation.’
The shortlist will be announced 10 September.