After winning the 2013 Man Booker Prize for "The Luminaries", Eleanor Catton hits back at critics in New Zealand. Ms Catton is the second Kiwi and the youngest author ever to win the prestigious literary award.
Ms Catton complained about male critics aged 45 and up due to their unfair treatment of young female writers. The 28-year-old novelist said in an interview with The Guardian UK that her age made her a target of bullying in New Zealand.
Based on her observations, the Man Booker Prize winner said most of the negative reactions came from male book reviewers over 45. She also recalled one of the things she learned in school and said any kind of bullying has to do more with the bullies themselves.
Her award-winning book, "The Luminaries" was the longest book to bag the Man Booker Prize with 832 pages. This fact may have riled up her male critics. She said her male critics may have been able to tolerate male writers above 50 but they were not to spoken to like that from a 28-year-old woman.
Ms Catton also criticised the media for their preference of male writers. She said "male writers tend to get asked what they think and women what they feel." She has observed that the press does not seem to think of a female writer as a "serious thinker."
It was not the first time that Ms Catton has given a piece of her mind to her critics as well as New Zealand as a whole. In September she told The Guardian that "New Zealand has no reviewing culture at all, so London just seems like a paradise."
She also said in other interviews that reviews in New Zealand for her book were definitely colder and meaner compared to UK reviews.
Before winning the Man Booker Prize, Ms Catton sold 6,000 copies of The Luminaries in New Zealand. However, after news of her victory came out, bookstores were reportedly selling out her novel. The stores had ordered extra copies of her book in anticipation of the win but they still ran out of stock.
The 4,000 new copies scheduled to arrive in New Zealand have already been sold beforehand. The Auckland Library waiting list has sharply increased to 1,000. Wellington Library has reported 200 people on its waiting list.
Book Council chief executive Catriona Ferguson said the being shortlisted in the Man Booker Prize will usually guarantee sales of 10,000 copies in New Zealand alone.
Canadian author, Margaret Atwood, who won the award in 2012 sold 500,000 copies of her book, "The Blind Assasin" after winning Britain's coveted literary prize. If Ms Catton were to match her sales, she will stand to earn $1.5 million from the sale of her book.
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