Eleanor Catton is the young star of New Zealand literature. Her debut novel, The Rehearsal, has caused great excitement wherever it has been published around the world.
The Rehearsal is an exhilarating and provocative novel about the reactions to an affair between a male teacher and a girl at his secondary school, as well as the more muted response to the death of another pupil. Startlingly original, it is at once a tender evocation of its young protagonists and a shrewd exposé of emotional compromise.
First published by Victoria University Press in 2008, The Rehearsal went on to be published by Granta in the UK, Little Brown in the US, and McClelland and Stewart in Canada, and in many other languages, including Chinese, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Hebrew, Norwegian, Portuguese and Swedish. It won the Montana New Zealand Book Award for best first book of fiction, the UK Society of Authors' Betty Trask Award and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, was longlisted for the Orange Prize, and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Prix Médicis étranger.
Eleanor Catton was born in 1985 in Canada and grew up in Canterbury. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University of Wellington and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In 2011 she is the Ursula Bethell Writer in Residence at the University of Canterbury, and is finishing her second novel.
Author portrait: Victoria Birkinshaw / Sunday Star-Times