The University of Iowa

Eleanor Catton wins the 2013 Man Booker Prize

2010 Iowa Writers' Workshop graduate Eleanor (Ellie) Catton has been awarded the 2013 Man Booker Prize, Britain's most prestigious literary award given annually to a writer from Britain, Ireland, or a British Commonwealth for a single novel. At 28, she is the youngest winner in history with the longest winning book in history, The Luminaries, clocking in at more than 800 pages.

Catton, a Canadian-born New Zealander, takes home a £50,000 purse for her accomplishment, which has already sparked a storm of congratulations from the Iowa community on social media. The Luminaries is Catton's second book, an intricately plotted crime mystery set during the 19th Century New Zealand gold rush. She is the second New Zealander to win the award, following Keri Hulme in 1985.
Catton's work beat out that of NoViolet Bulawayo, Jim Crace, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ruth Ozeki, and Colm Tóibín. Catton's first novel, The Rehearsal, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize, and longlisted for the Orange Prize.