Tag Archives: Eleanor Catton

Eleanor Catton blasts critics’ ‘jingoistic national tantrum’

Booker prizewinner defends her right to discuss politics after speaking out over culture and power in New Zealand: The Guardian

EleanorCatton1Eleanor 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

“I write dead novels”: Allan Sealy

Authors David Davidar, Eleanor Catton, Damon Galgut and I. Allan Sealy spoke about humankind’s need for narratives to make sense of our world: The Hindu

EleanorCatton1From V.S. Naipaul to Tom Wolfe and Will Self, naysayers have foretold doomsday for the novel for a few generations now. While on one hand breathing its last, and on the other, powerful enough to warrant death threats, the novel swings along a wide continuum in our times. And it is this vast spectrum that David Davidar explored with Man Booker winner Eleanor Catton, two-time Booker nominee Damon Galgut and 1998-Booker nominee Irwin Allan Sealy, in their session, ‘The Deeper Truth of Novels’. Read more

Jaipur Literature Festival expects record crowd

Organizers of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival have unveiled the final lineup of speakers at the 2015 festival, which is scheduled take place in Jaipur from Jan. 21 to 25.

On deck for South Asia’s best-known literary jamboree: Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul, author of “A House for Mr. Biswas” and other novels; travel writers Paul Theroux and Elizabeth Gilbert, the latter of “Eat Pray Love” fame; British screenwriter and novelist Hanif Kureishi; Indian author Chetan Bhagat; Vijay Seshadri, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for poetry; Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton; statistician and risk scholar Nicholas Nassim Taleb; Columbia University economist Arvind Panagariya; and more than 200 others. Read more

Now a grant for writers ‘to read’

New Zealand novelist Eleanor Catton, Booker-winning author of The Luminaries, sets up grant to give writers ‘time to read’

EleanorCatton1Eleanor 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.

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Meena Kandasamy’s The Gypsy Goddess longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize

A longlist of 15 books has been announced for the prestigious International Dylan Thomas Prize, sponsored by Swansea University.

meenaThe list includes works by Welsh poet, author and scriptwriter Owen Sheers, five American authors, an Indian novelist (Meena Kandasamy, The Gypsy Goddess), Glasgow-based Jamaican poet Kei Miller, and crime writer Tom Rob Smith.

Two of the books – The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, and A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride – have won the Booker Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize respectively.

This is the seventh edition of the £30,000 prize, which is the largest literary prize in the world for young writers, aimed at encouraging creative talent worldwide. It celebrates and nurtures international literary excellence across all genres and is open to novels, short stories, poetry and drama.

The longlist is:

  • Daniel Alarcón, At Night We Walk in Circles
  • Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
  • John Donnelly, The Pass
  • Joshua Ferris, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
  • Emma Healey, Elizabeth is Missing
  • Meena Kandasamy, The Gypsy Goddess
  • Eimear McBride, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
  • Kseniya Melnik, Snow in May
  • Kei Miller, The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion
  • Nadifa Mohamed, The Orchard of Lost Souls
  • Owen Sheers, Mametz
  • Tom Rob Smith, The Farm
  • Rufi Thorpe, The Girls from Corona del Mar
  • Naomi Wood, Mrs Hemingway
  • Hanya Yanagihara, The People in the Trees

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Beyond cuts: the many roles of a writer’s editor

Novelist Eleanor Catton and her editor Max Porter’s alliance shows how much more than wielding a blade goes into this relationship: The Guardian

EleanorCatton1Henry James called editing “the butchers’ trade”. But he also said, “I glory in the piling up of complications of every sort,” so you can see how the old anglophile and his editors may have crossed horns.

However, if we’re honest, wouldn’t we, the reader, prefer to chew over a well-honed slice of literature than wade through fatty hunks of unedited, flabby prose? Isn’t the editor’s first loyalty to the reader, and not the author? Isn’t it better to wield the knife than to club out something that the cow might approve of? Read more

NZ Literary star planning a decent break

Eleanor Catton says she won’t write for a while following her Man Booker win.

EleanorCatton1Her 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.

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Eleanor Catton: ‘It helps to surround yourself with people unlike you’

RuthThe Kiwi author describes the journey that led to her Booker Prize win: The Telegraph

The morning after the night that will change her life, Booker Prize-winning novelist Eleanor Catton looks remarkably self-possessed. When her name was read out, she described the sensation as like being hit by a “white wall”, and after just two hours’ sleep and two cups of coffee, she is still struggling to get her head round it. “I still don’t think it’s quite real, I don’t know when it will feel real. It is an unreal situation.”

It’s clear is that she would rather talk about ideas than her emotions. “It is less fun to talk about what I am feeling rather than what I am thinking. Saying ‘I feel awesome’ isn’t really interesting or enquiring.”

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Eleanor Catton speaks out against the unfair treatment of female writers

RuthThe 2013 Man Booker-prize winner on the unfair treatment of female writers and why her book The Luminaries riled male critics of a certain age: The Guardian

“I have observed that male writers tend to get asked what they think and women what they feel,” says Eleanor Catton. “In my experience, and that of a lot of other women writers, all of the questions coming at them from interviewers tend to be about how lucky they are to be where they are – about luck and identity and how the idea struck them. The interviews much more seldom engage with the woman as a serious thinker, a philosopher, as a person with preoccupations that are going to sustain them for their lifetime.” Read more

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