Accolades for Catton
Wellington author of The Rehearsal (Victoria University Press, NZ and Granta, UK) Eleanor Catton, 23, has won the UK’s Betty Trask Award worth £8,000. Sebastian Faulks presented £60,500 in prize money to twenty-one writers on Thursday, 18th June at a reception held by the UK Society of Authors in London. The Betty Trask Prize and Award started in 1983 from a bequest to the Society of Authors to fund a prize for first novels written by authors under the age of 35 in a traditional or romantic, but not experimental, style. The prize money must be used for foreign travel. The Rehearsal tells the story of a high-school sex scandal and its myriad consequences, and has been hailed by critics and readers alike since its release last year. It has also been nominated in the fiction and best first book of fiction categories of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards to be announced on 27 July in Auckland. Catton signed contracts with two prestigious international publishers last year, with her UK publisher Granta about to release their edition of The Rehearsal in July. She is also due to appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and at a number of literary festivals in North America.