Monday, January 30, 2012

Eleanor Catton discusses her historical, astrological, murder mystery

A few years ago, young Kiwi author Eleanor Catton (who was born in Canada while her New Zealand father was studying there) burst onto the literary scene with her debut novel, THE REHEARSAL, which dealt with the reactions to an affair between a male teacher and a secondary school student, contrasted with the more muted response to the death of another student.

Over the couple of years after the novel's initial publication in 2007, Catton's star continued to rise and rise, as she was awarded a Writers' Fellowship to Iowa University, won the UK-based Betty Trask Award, the Montana Best First Book Award (in New Zealand), was shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award, and longlisted for the Orange Prize, amongst other accolades and acclaim.

Late last year I stumbled across an interesting note online suggesting that Catton's second novel, which she was then working on, might include something of a murder mystery. Understandably, this piqued my interest.

Now Catton has been interviewed by the Book Council about her upcoming second novel, THE LUMINARIES, which is set in the Gold Rush era of New Zealand, in the 1860s (side note - this was named one of the 'hot books' being sold at the Frankfurt Book Fair late last year).

You can read that interview, where Catton talks about why she believes history should be strange, her (changing?) views on astrology, and the most inventive murder mysteries she's read, HERE.

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