Huge congratulations to Kiwi Eleanor Catton for becoming the youngest person to win the Man Booker Prize. Holy hell. What an achievement. And what a humble speech. You’ll be surfing on a rainbow right about now.
Recently, when I was struggling to string a sentence together in my new children’s novel I found a great quote from Eleanor which stuck. ‘If a book starts off funny,’ a thesis supervisor once told her, ‘It has to get funnier; if it starts off weird, it has to get weirder, if it starts off sad, it has to get sadder. Like all good advice it seems pretty straightforward at first glance, but I came to realise that having to trump oneself means having to outwit oneself, and that’s actually really difficult.’