Canadians claim award-winning author Eleanor Catton as their own

Countries, academic institutions and libraries have been quick to claim a link to New Zealand writer Eleanor Catton after she won the prestigious Man Booker prize today.

Canadian media, which has reported widely on her success, proudly noted Catton was born in Ontario. She moved to Christchurch with her family at age 6.

The National Post described her as "the first Canadian author to win one of the world's foremost literary awards in over a decade''.

While offering their congratulations, the University of Auckland noted Catton was awarded the University of Auckland's Residency at the Michael King Writers' Centre in Devonport and wrote the final draft of the winning novel at the centre last year.

The Manukau Institute of Technology said Catton taught Creative Writing to Bachelor of Creative Arts degree students at the school.

National Librarian Bill Macnaught noted "with pride'' that Catton credited her research on the Library's Papers Past website with providing insight into the historical period and places the novel is set in.

The University of Canterbury's head of English Christina Stachurski said Catton received her Bachelor of Arts degree at the university in 2005.

Catton also wrote chapters of her award-winning book while a Writer in Residence in 2011, Stachurski said.

"But today we are just so proud of Ellie. She worked in an office down the hallway here. She is a lovely person, unpretentious and fun to have around. Her father, Dr Phillip Catton, was a senior lecturer in philosophy here too.''

- APNZ

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