10 Sep 2013

Catton shortlisted for Man Booker Prize

10:33 pm on 10 September 2013

New Zealand writer Eleanor Catton's novel The Luminaries has made the final shortlist of six for this year's Man Booker Prize for fiction.

The murder mystery is set during the 19th century gold rush on the West Coast.

Ms Catton says she is excited the shortlisting will help raise the profile of New Zealand literature.

The £50,000 prize winner will be announced on 15 October.

The Luminaries, Catton's second novel, will be published in September.

Catton was born in Canada in 1985 and raised in Christchurch. She was the 2007 winner of the Sunday Star-Times short story competition and her first novel, The Rehearsal, was shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award.

At 28, she was the youngest author on this year's 13-strong long list, where she joined literary luminaries such as Colm Tóibín and Jim Crace, who have both previously been shortlisted.

Revealing the long list in July, chair of judges Robert Macfarlane described it "surely as the most diverse long list in Man Booker history".

The long list also included authors from Britain, Zimbabwe, Canada, Australia, Malaysia and Ireland, the BBC reported.

The Man Booker Prize has only once been won by a New Zealander, when Keri Hulme took the award in 1985 for The Bone People.