'This astonishing debut novel from young New Zealander Eleanor Catton is a cause for surprise and celebration: smart, playful and self-possessed, it has the glitter and mystery of the true literary original. Though its impulses and methods can only be called experimental, the prose is so arresting, the storytelling so seductive, that wherever the book falls open it's near-impossible to put down." Andrea Levy - review of The Rehearsal in The Guardian

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.


Louise O'Brien review 'The Rehearsal' for the New Zealand Listener - August 2-8 2008 Vol 214 No 3560


Simon Bowden from the Arts Foundation talks to 2016 Laurate Award recipient, Eleanor Catton, about her practice and the impact of the award.
Eleanor Catton (writer) features on the TVNZ 7 broadcast of The Artists, produced in partnership with the Arts Foundation.
        Born, Ontario, Canada (NZ parents), moved to New Zealand at an early age
   MA in Creative Writing at Wellington's Victoria University, Wellington;Debut novel The Rehearsal published;Adam Award in Creative Writing (The Rehearsal);Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition, 2007 (Necropolis)
    Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship at the Iowa Writers' Workshop;Betty Trask Award (The Rehearsal);Louis Johnson New Writers Bursary.
    Montana Best First Book Award for Fiction (The Rehearsal);Shortlisted for Amazon Rising Stars promotion
Recipient: Arts Foundation of NZ New Generation Award;Translation rights for The Rehearsal sold in 12 languages;New Zealand first-time novelist on long list for Orange Prize for Fiction;Short-listed for Guardian First Book Award; Long-listed International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award;Winner NZSA Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction;Short-listed Dylan Thomas Prize for Young Writers
Won $7,500 Amazon.ca First Novel Award Ursula Bethell Residency, University of Canterbury
Awarded The University of Auckland Residency at the Michael King Writers Centre
Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction with The Luminaries;Winner of the the Governor General's Literary Award, Canada;Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit
Awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature from Victoria University of Wellington.
Receives an Arts Foundation Laureate Award