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Big International Deals for Young NZ Writer

Victoria University Press Media Release
20 November 2008

Big International Deals for Young NZ Writer

Eleanor Catton, whose debut novel “The Rehearsal” was published in NZ July this year, has secured a top UK literary agent and has just signed major contracts with two prestigious international publishers.

Caroline Dawnay, United Agents, London, says “I rarely take on more than two or three new clients in a year, but “The Rehearsal” was a book that I had to represent.”

Little, Brown (USA) and Granta Books (UK) are both very excited about Eleanor’s book and have leapt at the chance to publish her in their respective markets.

Granta’s publisher, Philip Gwyn Jones says, “This is the most striking new fiction writing I've seen all year, and the way in which Eleanor exhibits a near-perfect ear and a spring-heeled buoyancy to her prose promises so, so much.”

Sales prospects for foreign language rights are looking very good too with Jessica Craig, foreign rights manager at United Agents commenting, “Eleanor Catton is a stunning, confident, and subversive new voice in fiction; now that excellent publishers are committed to her in the UK and US, publishers across Europe are reading “The Rehearsal” with serious interest.”

Back at home, Louise O'Brien writing in The Listener called Eleanor Catton “a new talent who has arrived fully formed, with an accomplished, confident and mature voice”.

Eleanor Catton was born in 1985 in Canada and raised in Canterbury. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University in 2007 and won the Adam Prize in Creative Writing for “The Rehearsal”.

She also won the 2007 Sunday Star-Times short story competition and the audience award at Once Upon a Deadline, a one-day story contest in the 2008 NZ International Arts Festival Writers and Readers Week and was awarded the 2008 Louis Johnson New Writers Bursary.

Eleanor is currently in the States studying creative writing at the University of Iowa. She was the recipient of the 2008 Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship which enabled her to attend the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

The model for all contemporary creative writing programmes, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop has a very distinguished list of graduates including Jane Smiley, Michael Cunningham and Flannery O'Connor.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Eleanor please contact: Heather McKenzie ph 027 563 6531


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