New Zealand author Eleanor Catton has won the 2013 Man Booker Prize for her massive, 832 page novel The Luminaries.
The judges described her novel, a murder mystery set during the New Zealand gold rush, as an investment of time that pays heavy dividends, and noting that "it slowly and deeply staked its claim upon us." Twenty-eight year old Catton is the youngest writer to win the award, given to novelists from Britain, the Commonwealth and Zimbabwe.
Catton's The Luminaries beat out established writers like Jhumpa Lahiri (shortlisted for The Lowlands) and three time shortlist veteran Colm Toibin (shortlisted for The Testament of Mary). Jim Crace, whose has said that his novel Harvest would be his last, was a favorite among bookies.
In addition to being the youngest author to ever win the prize, Catton is also the second-ever New Zealander and the first to win for her publisher, Granta. In her speech Catton thanked Granta for allowing her to focus on her work instead of profit margins and, perhaps, producing something a little shorter.