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Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries – TLS

15/10/2013

“I came because of the rushes . . . . Everyone says there’s more gold in a camp than there is in the ground. I thought I’d be a camp follower.” With these words, Anna Wetherell, standing alone on a dock in New Zealand, explains herself to an approaching stranger. “I’ve just come to start over.” She has made her crossing on the Fortunate Wind and met a boy also hoping to make his fortune by prospecting in the glittering ground around Hokitika. The two of them watch as an albatross circles overhead: a lucky omen, the boy tells her. This is the beginning of Anna’s story, but we are more than three-quarters of the way through Eleanor Catton’s new novel,The Luminaries, when we learn of these events, seeing afresh a woman who has until now been known as “the whore”, and a boy who has indeed become the town’s richest man before disappearing without trace.

“Eleanor Catton wins the Man Booker Prize”, Times Literary Supplement, 16.10.2013. The review first appeared in the print edition on 16-23.8.2013.

Eleanor Catton

Eleanor Catton

 

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