15 October 2013

Booker Winner

Writer Eleanor Catton

How wonderful that a lesser known writer like New Zealander Eleanor Catton won the Booker for her novel "The Luminaries" which only just published in this country today and might otherwise have faced obscurity.

I'm told she is the youngest ever to win [28] and the book is the longest [over 800 pages.] She is in great company now, on the heels of Hilary Mantel last year, Julian Barnes the year before, and in the recent past, Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel, A. S. Byatt and Iris Murdoch.

She is also a triple threat: talented, award-winning and beautiful. I might hate her if I wasn't so pleased for her.

The first Man Booker award for fiction in 1969 went to a writer named Newby for a novel named "Something to Answer For" proving once again that even with a prestigious award, a book might disappear from the shelves and/or the public consciousness.

The Booker has a history of naming more eclectic titles as winners, although consistently good writers, and the National Book Awards have also become very hard to predict or comprehend. Awards are not the measure of talent nor skill, and too often political, but I daresay less important to writers than celebrities, even if an award will catapult a book to far greater sales. Writers simply have to write and they can only hope for readers.

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