New Zealander Eleanor Catton has won the 2013 Booker Prize making her the youngest winner of the prize ever, and her book The Luminaries, set in the 19th Century New Zealand Gold Rush, the longest at more than 800 pages. Chair of the judging panel, writer and critic Robert Macfarlane said that it took just two hours for them to decide on the winner and they had not had to have a vote.
“There was a pretty tough discussion, we put the novels to the test … and at the end we were all very happy,” he said.
The Luminaries is Catton’s second novel following The Rehearsal which had been shortlisted in a first-book award. The only other New Zealander ever to win the Booker wasKeri Hulme for The Bone People. Catton beat the favourite, Jim Crace, whose book Harvest, he has said will be the last he writes, to take the award.