Stellar young talent
Eleanor Catton, 24, has been praised in the first international reviews for her novel, The Rehearsal, receiving rave write-ups in influential publications The Scotsman, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Tom Adair, writing for The Scotsman favourably linked Catton’s work to that of another renowned debut. “As debuts go, this one is astral – as well as teasing, intelligent and knowing. It made me think of Bonjour Tristesse (1955) and of its author, Françoise Sagan, another young writer of stellar talent.” In The Times review of the book, Melissa Katsoulis said “Timeframes overlap and collide in this ingenious ontological kaleidoscope of a debut, but the experimentalism – which demands that the reader keep all her wits about her – is tempered by a real knack for narrative and a cast of painfully familiar teenage characters who are all desperate to be as confident, cool, charismatic and funny as possible. These are qualities that the extraordinary Eleanor Catton has in spades.” The Daily Telegraph reviewer, in an equally enthusiastic review, wrote that “Catton shows she can address the big themes in life while remaining alert to small details.” Victoria University Press published The Rehearsal last year and it has 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.