Catton's novel was something of a dark horse winner, given the shortlist, which included the latest works from Jim Crace (the presumed frontrunner), Jhumpa Lahiri, NoViolet Bulawayo, Ruth Ozeki and Colm Tóibín. At more than 800 pages, it's also something of a doorstop! As one judge remarked, "Those of us who didn't read it on e-readers enjoyed a full upper-body work-out."
During her acceptance speech, Catton, who at 28 is also the youngest author ever to win the prize, admitted that the book "was, from the start, a publisher’s nightmare" and thanked her publishers for taking a chance on the novel.
BookPage was among the many to take note of this talented author when her debut, The Rehearsal, was released in 2010. The Luminaries is a very different, but equally compelling, novel—a meaty historical set in the 1860s New Zealand gold fields. Carefully constructed, and with pitch-perfect Victorian narration, it's a remarkable achievement for a writer of any age. We can't wait to see what Catton does next.