Fangirling Over Eleanor Catton

I think I’m in love with a new author and I haven’t even read any of her work.

By now you must have heard that this year’s Man Booker Prize went to New Zealand author Eleanor Catton for The Luminaries.

At first I was struck by the fact that she’s the same age as me. Then there was that moment of “She’s my age and she’s written an award winning book and I’m just happy to get through my work day.” A kind of pity party really.

Then I started reading snippets about her and she sounded pretty interesting. Then I read this interview (if you have a few minutes, you should read it too, it is excellent) and I fell in love.

She’s effing brilliant. She’s intelligent and eloquent (probably not surprising for a writer) and human – I so identified with the sleeping in last night’s make up! That’s such a 20-something thing to do really. So she’s this brilliant, normal, well-spoken individual and she’s written this book that sounds really good.

I’ve seen the book around. It has a beautiful cover and that will always make me stop and take notice. People are talking about the length of the book as a detractor – 832 pages. But book length has never deterred me (except when I think about trying to read War and Peace for the second time but all the way through this time). The narrative structure of this one intrigues me – 12 sections split according to the signs of the zodiac and each chapter is half the length of the previous one – but I’m often wary of things that don’t follow the norm.

Because despite being 28 chronologically, I’m really 80.

I think I will jump into this one and make a go of it, if only because I’m so impressed with Catton as a human being. I love that she called out old men for being judgmental of her work and her age, and the media for asking female writers what they feel instead of what they think.

I’m not sure that I have ever actively sought out a Man Booker prize winning book before. But then, there’s a first time for everything.

Here’s hoping my fangirling pays off.

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4 thoughts on “Fangirling Over Eleanor Catton

  1. I really enjoyed the article, thanks for the link. It did make me think about the way women are asked questions as opposed to the questions men are asked. It reminded me of this article that I read a couple of days ago:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/mary-berry-joanna-lumleywhen-female-role-models-go-bad-8474775.html

    As in journalists asking questions of women on subjects that are nothing to do with the woman’s specialism, because they perceive these subjects as women’s issue? When men are not asked about “men’s issues”?

    • I will check that article out – thanks!

      It’s frustrating when you realize that as far as we’ve come we still have so far to go. Clearly Catton is a brilliant person who as written this incredible book but yes, let’s ask her about her feelings.

      • Compared with me at 28… I could barely string an idea or a sentence together on paper. Not in a way that would grip anyone to read anyway. She is truly brilliant.

  2. Pingback: On the Hunt for Fresh Book Blood | The Paperback Princess

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