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The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

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Longlisted for the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2013.

The astonishing and epic second novel from the prize-winning author of The Rehearsal. Written in pitch-perfect historical register, richly evoking a mid-19th century world of shipping and banking and goldrush boom and bust, it is also a ghost story, and a gripping mystery. It is a thrilling achievement for someone still in her mid-20s, and will confirm for critics and readers that Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.

Robert Macfarlane, Chair of Judges comments: ‘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.’

Click here to view an extract from this book.

If you like Eleanor Catton you might also like to read books by Alison Wong and Richard House.


The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

Longlisted for the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2013.

It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve 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. The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction. It is full of narrative, linguistic and psychological pleasures, and has a fiendishly clever and original structuring device.

About the Author

Eleanor Catton was born in 1985 in Canada and raised in New Zealand. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University in 2007 and won the Adam Prize in Creative Writing for The Rehearsal. She was the recipient of the 2008 Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship to study for a year at the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop in the US and went on to hold a position as Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing there, teaching Creative Writing and Popular Culture. Eleanor won a 2010 New Generation Award. She now lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st August 2013


Eleanor Catton

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Granta Books


832 pages


Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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