Friday, 9 January 2009


Among a handful of literary names on the Observer's 'hotlist' for 2009 is the young New Zealander Eleanor Catton. From what I have seen of her work, the interest is entirely justified. 'The Outing' has the mingled humour and menace of a Hitchcock movie in miniature, while 'Necropolis' is a beautifully observed depiction of a dead-end job. It's no surprise to see that the author is a fan of Muriel Spark.

'The Outing' has apparently been reworked as a scene in Catton's debut novel The Rehearsal. According to the Observer this is due to be published by Granta in the UK in July, though this edition is not currently listed on Amazon, and the publisher does not appear to have a website at present. More details when we have them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Seán,

It's great you've already come across some of Ellie Catton's work - she was completely new to me when I first read The Rehearsal and I was, predictably, a little awe-struck by the time I'd finished it.

Our website is under development at the moment, so apologies for the lack of information. Just to confirm, we are hugely excited to be publishing The Rehearsal in July this year.

Kate Atkinson called it 'a wonderful debut by a truly exciting new writer -- "The Rehearsal" is compulsively good and while at the same time being immensely readable it also continually calls into question the relationship between so-called "reality" and fiction, and the very nature of truth itself.'

Joshua Ferris is equally keen on Catton, and wrote that 'this is a mesmerizing, labyrinthine, intricately patterned and astonishingly original novel. It's really something else entirely. I suppose if you need a point of reference, you might say it's as if Miss Jean Brodie got lost in Barth's funhouse. But really it has no comparison. With "The Rehearsal" you get the style, the sophistication, the boundless possibility and the narrative pleasures that make up any good novel, but you get a bonus, too: a glimpse into the future of the novel itself.'

Ellie Catton is just 23 and is currently enrolled in the Creative Writing MFA at Iowa. We should have The Rehearsal on Amazon in the next few days, so watch this space.

If you have any queries please just get in touch. All the contact details are here:

All the best,

Amber Dowell
Granta Books

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