International Press about the Man Booker Prize win

While we have been covering New Zealand media coverage of Eleanor Catton’s win of the Man Booker Prize in our daily ‘Words of the Day’, we haven’t had enough time to pay much attention to what the world has been saying.

There are several main news agencies in the world (AP, APA, Reuters et al), whose press releases have been replicated with a couple of changes throughout the world – while I have tried to only replicate these once, there will be overlap inevitably. I have also pulled some ‘quoteable quotes’ from a few of them, both silly and good, and I will leave it to you to decide which to read.


“I do feel that my Canadian identity growing up was something that was really important to me, especially as a child. Because I was the only Canadian in my family, I felt a special connection to the country.”The Globe and Mail

The Rehearsal was adored by critics and won a number of prizes, including the First Novel Award after it was published in Canada in 2010.’CBC CA

‘The choice should give heart to young authors of oversized tales.’– Associated Press – this has been replicated all over the world

Toronto bookstore owner Ben McNally: “The Luminaries is astonishing,” he said when the Giller shortlist was announced last week. “I didn’t expect anything from this book and it blew my head off. That’s what you want out of a book.” The Star – also the recipient of a few kiwis’ ire at the fact she is being claimed.


And after The Rehearsal she said she wanted to write a novel that was highly structured and conceptual. She used astrology because ”whenever a pattern is set up in this system – this planet in this sign etc – that will mean something in terms of what influences are brought to bear on the overall picture.”– The Age

‘The novel, described as a “Kiwi Twin Peaks”, follows fortune-seeker Walter Moody during the New Zealand gold rush of the mid-1800s.’  – Australia Network News

“I’ve had to buy a new handbag, because my old handbag wasn’t big enough to hold my book.” – (Australian Associated Press, including Sydney Morning Herald)

Catton’s win was a bad result for the bookies, as she was a shortening second favourite, behind English veteran Jom Crace, shortlisted for Harvest. The Australian

United Kingdom

The Guardian headlines – Eleanor Catton’s Precocious Predecessors; Eleanor Catton, ‘Male Authors get asked what they think, Women what they feel’; Eleanor Catton: The Land of the Long White Cloud; Eleanor Catton asks novel questions with epic ambition in The Luminaries

“Such an identity of two islands as well as two countries is befitting for the last winner of the Booker in its solely Commonwealth manifestation. Well done and good luck, Eleanor Catton.”The Conversation

“Ms Catton said she was hit by “a white wall” when her name was read out, and as she walked to the podium was struck by “a dry mouth and trembling knees”.” – The Independent

Traditional storytelling, admittedly ably assisted by sufficient shaggy dogs to power a giant sled, has secured the 2013 Man Booker Prize for the youngest winner in the award’s history.”The Irish Times

.. shortly before 10pm yesterday evening the novelist won the Man Booker prize for her compulsively readable account of intrigue during the gold rushes in Victorian New Zealand…Catton plainly has a remarkable career ahead of her.” – GQ Magazine


‘The choice comes as a surprise to say the least.’ – TIME Magazine.

“We had one customer who said that this was more important for New Zealand than winning the Rugby World Cup,” Unity’s Todd Atticus told AFP. – Global Post (reproduced elsewhere)

“Writing in The Guardian, Kirsty Gunn called “The Luminaries” a “consummate literary page-turner.””New York Times

ARTS: A light from Down Under makes BookTulsa World – OK, that’s the headline, but I quite like it, obtuse though it is.

“It’s amazing, it’s magic for Eleanor,” said Robert Sullivan, the institute’s head of creative writing. He added that Ms. Catton’s students have all had “their sights raised” thanks to her achievement.” – Wall Street Journal

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