Illumination in Iowa
Cantabrian author Eleanor Catton talks to American site Eye Weekly about her celebrated debut novel The Rehearsal and how her novel has so far been received. Canadian-born Catton, 25, says the initial reviews in New Zealand were very reserved. “I think this had to do with the fact of my age — when the New Zealand edition was first published I asked my publisher whether my date of birth could be removed from the back flap of the book and he emailed back very politely to say ‘not on your life’,” Catton says. “The main criticism of the book itself was that its approach was ‘all head and no heart.’ When the book was published in the UK the following year, the reviews were much more positive. It was interesting to see those responses as different attitudes to intellectualism between the two countries.” Catton, who is studying at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop is now working on her second novel, currently titled The Luminaries and a quartet of fantasy novels set in the English Civil War.