Booker prizewinner defends her right to discuss politics after speaking out over culture and power in New Zealand: The Guardian
Eleanor Catton has hit back at figures in New Zealand who reacted with anger to her criticisms of the country’s “neoliberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians”, describing the vicious attacks she has suffered as a “jingoistic national tantrum”.
Interviewed at the Jaipur literary festival last week, Catton said that she feels “uncomfortable being an ambassador for my country when my country is not doing as much as it could, especially for the intellectual world”. In a conversation reported by Livemint, she went on to describe how New Zealand is dominated by “these neoliberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture. They care about short-term gains. They would destroy the planet in order to be able to have the life they want. I feel very angry with my government.” Read more
New Zealand novelist Eleanor Catton, Booker-winning author of The Luminaries, sets up grant to give writers ‘time to read’
Eleanor Catton, the youngest ever winner of the Man Booker prize, has announced that she will put the money from her latest awards win towards establishing a grant that will give writers “time to read”.
Catton’s The Luminaries, set during New Zealand’s 19th-century gold rush, took the Booker last year, when Catton was just 28. It has now won the Kiwi author the New Zealand Post best fiction and people’s choice awards, and Catton has said that she will use her winnings of NZ$15,000 (£7,500) to help other writers.
Eleanor Catton says she won’t write for a while following her Man Booker win.
Her Man Booker Prize win made her an international literary luminary, but Eleanor Catton doesn’t want any “homecoming fuss” when she finally jets back to New Zealand.
The 28-year-old novelist is looking forward to being reunited with her cats, spending time in the kitchen and catching up with friends and relatives when she gets home in the new year.
Since she became the youngest winner of the prize with her West Coast saga The Luminaries last month, Catton’s world has been one of celebrations with friends, book talks, and much chat with reporters.