New Zealand's Eleanor Catton wins 2013 Man Booker prize
By Paul Casciato
LONDON (Reuters) - New Zealand author Eleanor Catton won the 2013 Man Booker prize for English fiction on Tuesday for her novel "The Luminaries", to become the youngest winner in the award's 45-year history.
The 28-year-old novelist poked fun at the size of her 848-page tome about the 19th century New Zealand gold rush and thanked British publishers Granta for their patience.
"I've actually just had to buy a new handbag because my old handbag wasn't big enough to fit my book," Catton told journalists at a hasty press conference.
Chair of judges Robert Macfarlane described Catton's second novel, set in the New Zealand goldfields of 1866, as dazzling and very clever.
"'The Luminaries' is a magnificent novel: awesome in its structural complexity; addictive in its story-telling; and magical in its conjuring of a world of greed and gold," he said.
Catton's story tells the tale of Walter Moody, who arrives in the goldfields to seek his fortune and immediately stumbles across a tense gathering of local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes.
A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk.
Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky. Continued...