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Jaipur Literature Festival 2015: Youngest winner of Man Booker prize Eleanor Catton's advice to writers - read children's books

Prajakta Hebbar | http://imsopraj

Updated: January 21, 2015, 9:49 PM IST
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Jaipur Literature Festival 2015: Youngest winner of Man Booker prize Eleanor Catton's advice to writers - read children's books
Catton was in Jaipur to talk about her best-selling novel 'The Luminaries', and her journey as a writer.

Jaipur: Dressed simply in a black kurta and funky green and cream trousers, Eleanor Catton looked like any other bubbling, energetic 29-year-old at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival.

But the winner of the 2013 Man Booker prize was in the pink city to talk to young authors and writers about her best-selling novel 'The Luminaries', and her journey as a writer.

"90 per cent of a writer's job is to read," said Catton, her voice delightfully tinged with a hint of the Kiwi accent. In fact, Catton is already working on establishing a grant with the help of the earnings from the several reputed prizes she's won. "I will put the money from towards establishing a grant that will give writers time to read," she explained.

Emphasizing the point further, Catton explained that her mother's job as the librarian in a children's library was perhaps the best thing for her growing up. "I used to read anything that I could lay my hands on," said Catton. She, in fact, emphasizes that anyone who wished to take to writing seriously should be a voracious reader of children's literature.

"It's a purest form of story-telling. You're not allowed to be self-indulgent, you're not allowed to show off," said Catton.

Eleanor Catton was speaking at the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival on the topic 'Early Triumphs', along with writer Eimear McBride in a session moderated by Razia Iqbal. The session was presented by UN Women.

First Published: January 21, 2015, 9:49 PM IST
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