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'The Luminaries' author Eleanor Catton to set up writers' grant

Eleanor Catton, the 28-year old winner of the 2013 Man Booker prize for her sophomore novel, The Luminaries, will be using the winnings from her most recent award toward a philanthropic goal.

According to The Guardian, Catton announced that she will be using the £7,500 winnings from the New Zealand Post Best Fiction and People’s Choice awards towards a grant that would afford writers the ability to read while writing. The requirement for the $3,000 grants would be to for the recipient to write a short non-fiction piece regarding what they are reading to be posted online for others to read as well.

“Writers are readers first; indeed our love of reading is what unites us above all else. If our reading culture in New Zealand is dynamic, diverse, and informed, our writing culture will be too,” Catton told attendees when she accepted the award.

Catton has garnered critical acclaim for The Luminaries, which also won Canada’s top literary awardthe Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction.

On the Books: Eleanor Catton wins top Canadian prize; Italy launches reality show for writers

For today’s book news: Eleanor Catton continues to dominate, Michael Crichton’s non-dino-related work gets a cover makeover, and Italian television producers answer the question, “Can you force a writer to produce a magnum opus in front of a live audience?” with a resounding “Yes.” Read on for more top headlines:

Eleanor Catton continues to rack up awards, winning Canada’s top book prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction, for The Luminaries, which earlier won the U.K.’s Man Booker Prize. [CBC News]

Italy has launched a new reality show for writers called Masterpiece, in which authors must compete to win a book deal by participating in timed writing challenges. [The New York Times]

Michael Crichton’s John Lange novels are being reissued. The Jurassic Park writer’s early works were originally published between 1966 and 1972, and with the series’ reprinting, have received a pulpy makeover with its cover art. [USA Today]

Writer William T. Vollmann, the National Book Award winner known for giving his all to pursue stories (he once survived a land mine explosion in Bosnia and almost died while exploring the North Pole) has revealed he’s a cross-dresser with a female alter ego named Dolores. Vollmann has collected photographs and paintings of himself as Dolores in a new book, The Book of Dolores, and spoke to The New York Times about her origin story. [The New York Times]

Indie bookstores will features authors “guest-bookselling” — helping you choose among the stacks instead of doing guest reads or book signings — on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30. IndieBound has a map of participating locations. [IndieBound]

Book Country, Penguin’s online writing community and self-publishing platform, has debuted a page on Kickstarter to help crowdfund projects. [Publishers Weekly]

Gallery of the day: 12 vintage advertisements starring famous authors. Seriously — check out Robert Ludlum gripping a glass of Guinness with the tagline, “Robert Ludlum has a deep dark secret.” [Flavorwire]

And for your must-reads: The Atlantic has an excerpt from comedian Rob Delaney’s new book. [The Atlantic]

Here’s a profile of Latin American novelist Daniel Alarcón, who straddles the line between American and Peruvian culture, writing form a dual vantage point. “I think I’m an American writer writing about Latin America, and I’m a Latin American writer who happens to write in English,” he said. [The New York Times]

Over at The New Yorker, Ben Tarnoff explores the life of Mark Twain and the “monster” of his memoir, Autobiography of Mark Twain, which included three volumes and about 200 pages of endnotes, an introduction, and more. [The New Yorker]

On the Books: Apple to be monitored over deals with publishing houses; Amazon removes self-published pornographic e-books


No prizes or major announcements today, folks — this morning’s books headlines feature major companies hitting snags with publishing houses, but there are plenty of other good reads online. Check out more of today’s links below: READ FULL STORY

On the Books: Eleanor Catton wins Man Booker Prize; National Book Award finalists announced


Awards dominate today’s book news, with the youngest winner of the Man Booker Prize announced Tuesday night and the National Book Award finalists revealed this morning. Below, more of today’s top headlines and must-reads: READ FULL STORY

Eleanor Catton's 'Luminaries' wins fiction's Booker Prize

Youth and heft triumphed at the Booker Prize on Tuesday, as 28-year-old New Zealand author Eleanor Catton won the fiction award for The Luminaries, an ambitious 832-page murder mystery set during a 19th-century gold rush.

The choice should give heart to young authors of oversized tales. Catton is the youngest writer and only the second New Zealander to win the prestigious award — and her epic novel is easily the longest Booker champion.

Travel writer Robert Macfarlane, who chaired the judging panel, called The Luminaries “dazzling” and “luminous.”

“It is vast without being sprawling,” he said.

“You begin it, feel you are lost, think you are in the clutches of a big, baggy monster … but soon realize you are in something as tightly structured as an orrery,” a device for measuring the planets.

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