Rehearsal makes list
Cantabrian author Eleanor Catton’s debut novel The Rehearsal, has been longlisted for this year’s Orange Prize for Fiction, to be announced on June 9. Catton, 24, began writing The Rehearsal, about teenage life, when she was barely out of her teens herself. She has now been pitted against literary heavyweights such as Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel longlisted for Wolf Hall and Small Island author Andrea Levy, for her fifth novel The Long Song. Catton was born in Canada but moved to New Zealand at the age of six and studied creative writing at Victoria University in Wellington. The Rehearsal, published three years after she submitted it at the age of 20 as part of her MA in Creative Writing, is about the aftermath of a sex scandal at a girls’ school. In a review of Catton’s novel, The Guardian said: “The prose is so arresting, the storytelling so seductive, that wherever the book falls open it’s near-impossible to put down.” She is currently in the United States studying creative writing at the University of Iowa.