Luminaries picked for another international prize

By Nicholas McBride of the Greymouth Star -
The Luminaries on display at Whitcoulls. Photo / NZ Herald
The Luminaries on display at Whitcoulls. Photo / NZ Herald

The Luminaries author and Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton has more plaudits in sight after being longlisted for the international Women's Prize for Fiction.

The former Christchurch woman won the Booker prize - the biggest literary prize in the world - last year for her novel The Luminaries, set in Hokitika during the 1866 goldrushes.

Catton is due in Hokitika on Thursday for a speaking engagement as a fundraiser for the Regent Theatre.

The Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, now in its 19th year, is awarded for the best English language novel of the year written by a woman. The winner of the prize, formerly known as the Orange Prize, will be announced at the Royal Festival Hall, in London on June 4. It carries a purse of 30,000 pounds (NZ$59,000).

Out of 158 books submitted for this year's award, Catton's 832-page novel has been selected alongside 19 others from around the world.

The New Zealander faces some stiff competition; this year's longlist honours both rising stars of literature and established writers, featuring six debut writers as well as two previous winners. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who won for Half of a Yellow Sun in 2007, and Suzanne Berne, whose novel A Crime in the Neighbourhood won in 1999. The shortlist will be announced on April 7. The judging panel is made up of University of Cambridge professor of classics Mary Beard, writer Denise Mina, Times columnist, author and screenwriter Caitlin Moran, BBC.

broadcaster and journalist Sophie Raworth, and chaired by former Penguin Books UK managing director Helen Fraser.

- The Greymouth Star

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