With Grand Applause
Wellington-based author Eleanor Catton’s first novel The Rehearsal has been bought by US publisher Granta for a six-figure sum. Currently working on her MFA at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop as a 2008 Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship recipient, Canadian-born Catton, who is 23, completed an MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University in 2007 and won the Sunday Star-Times short-story competition for Necropolis that same year. The Rehearsal is set in a girl’s school during the aftermath of a sex scandal, and in a drama college where the students take the scandal as the subject of their end of year show. Granta editorial director Sara Holloway described Catton’s writing as “breathtakingly clever and inventive and assured”. In an interview with the Sunday Star-Times Catton said of the hype surrounding her work: “I might, in five years’ time, think, what did I do? I hope I can trust that the book is going to represent what I want it to represent in 10 years’ time.” In New Zealand The Rehearsal is published by Victoria University Press.