Eleanor Catton listens to the winning announcement
The youngest winner crafts the longest winning book. Eleanor Catton, a mere 28, took the prize with an intricate 832-page Victorian – in both timeframe and scale – epic.
Catton’s tale of love, greed and murder during the 19th-century gold rush on New Zealand’s west coast was structured around the signs of the zodiac. And, as if it were written in the stars, she became the second Kiwi to win the prize after Keri Hulme, whose victory came in 1985, the year of Catton’s birth.
The huge sales of The Luminaries proved a gold rush for the author whose post-win life was subsumed by writing the scripts for the television mini-series of the novel.