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Eleanor Catton

Eleanor Catton’s Biography

Last Updated:
16/05/2019, 2:34 pm
Arts Foundation Laureate 2016, New Generation 2010
Eleanor Catton is a New Zealand writer who was praised in the first international reviews for her novel ‘The Rehearsal’. She became the 2013 Man Booker prize-winner for her 2nd novel 'The Luminaries'.

Eleanor Catton became known internationally for her 2007 debut novel, The Rehearsal. She is the 2013 Man Booker Prize winner for her novel The Luminaries.

Eleanor Catton was born in 1985 in Canada and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand.

She won the 2007 Sunday Star-Times short-story competition, the 2008 Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the 2008 Louis Johnson New Writers’ Bursary and was named as one of Amazon’s Rising Stars in 2009. In 2010 she was awarded the New Zealand Arts Foundation New Generation Award. Eleanor Catton holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she also held an adjunct professorship, and an MA in creative writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington.

Her debut novel, The Rehearsal, won the Betty Trask Prize, the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, the Prix Femina literature award, the abroad category of the Prix Médicis, the University of Wales Dylan Thomas Prize 2010 and Stonewall’s Writer of the Year Award 2011, and longlisted for the Orange Prize 2010.

Eleanor’s second novel The Luminaries, was published by Victoria University Press and Granta in 2013, and won the prestigious 2013 Man Booker Prize. At 28, Catton became the youngest ever writer to win the prize.

Catton won the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction for The Luminaries in 2013. At the end of that year she was acknowledged in the New Year's Honour's list as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature and, in May 2014, was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature from Victoria University of Wellington.

She lives in Auckland with her husband, American expatriate author and poet Steven Toussaint, and teaches creative writing at the Manukau Institute of Technology.