‘The Luminaries’ author to attend Taipei book fair


TAIPEI–Eleanor Catton, the author of 2013 Man Booker Prize winner ��The Luminaries,�� will be among 22 writers, illustrators and graphic novelists from New Zealand attending the 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition in February.

Catton will be the first Man Booker Prize winner to attend the fair, which will feature New Zealand as its theme country, according to the Taipei Book Fair Foundation.

At 28, Catton became the youngest-ever winner of the Man Booker Prize for her novel about a series of mysteries involving 12 characters in a small town in New Zealand.

Also joining will be Maori writer Witi Ihimaera, best known for his novel-turned movie ��The Whale Rider,�� and Joy Cowley, one of New Zealand’s most prolific writers of children’s books.

Best-selling crime novelist Paul Cleave, graphic novelist Tim Gibson, poet and anthologist Jenny Bornholdt, historian and novelist Joan Druett, and award-winning children’s picture book writer and illustrator Gavin Bishop are also set to attend.

Visitors to the fair, which runs Feb. 11 16 at Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1 and 3, will be able to see them launch books, sign autographs and give talks, the organizer said.

The design of the New Zealand pavilion was inspired by the Maori talking stick, called the Tokotoko. In Maori tradition, whoever holds the stick has the authority to talk.

By putting three Tokotokos around the pavilion, it means anybody who is in the pavilion has the authority to talk, said Kevin Chapman, who heads the New Zealand theme country project. He said his team hopes to create a platform for conversations between New Zealanders and Taiwanese.