The Luminaries

Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries

The Luminaries transports readers to 1866, and a town that has risen almost overnight on the south coast of New Zealand during the frenzy of a gold rush. Walter Moody arrives to make his fortune, but instead he is drawn into trying to solve a series of puzzling crimes. Written in the style of a Victorian-era novel, The Luminaries is an ambitious, original book about fate, fortune, choice and chance that pushes the boundaries of contemporary literature.

The Luminaries won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction and the Man Booker Prize in 2013.


From the book:

"Anna moved away from him again, to the bedhead this time, and wrapped her fingers around the iron knob. As she moved he smelled her again -- the sea. The intensity of the sensation startled him. He had to check the urge to step towards her, to follow her, and breathe her in. He smelled salt, and iron, and the heavy, metallic taste of foul weather... low cloud, he thought, and rain. And not just the sea: a ship. That tarred ropy smell, the dusty damp of bleached teak, oiled sailcloth, candle wax. His mouth began to water."


From The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton ©2013. Published by McClelland & Stewart.

More about this book:

Eleanor Catton on The Sunday Edition:

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Eleanor Catton's life in books:



The 2015 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Canadian contenders:

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