A high-school sex scandal jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own potency and power. The sudden and total publicity seems to turn every act into a performance and every platform into a stage. But when the local drama school decides to turn the scandal into a show, the real world and the world of the theatre are forced to meet, and soon the boundaries between private and public begin to dissolve.
The Rehearsal is an exhilarating and provocative novel about the unsimple mess of human desire, at once a tender evocation of its young protagonists and shrewd expose of emotional compromise.
Dazzlingly assured and bold revolving around a school sex scandal, The Rehearsal has invited comparison to Donna Tartt, Zoe Heller and Zadie Smith as a significant debut from an author who has been picked as one to watch by the UK's Guardian and Sunday Times.
Eleanor has already been garlanded with New Zealand literary prizes and praise from writers such as Emily Perkins, Josh Ferris and Kate Atkinson. This, her first novel, was acquired in the UK and America for six figure sums while translation rights have been sold in nine languages. The Rehearsal and indeed, its precociously talented author have already been shortlisted for the 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards, to be announced July 27. Proving that they are both names to watch out for among the new generation of literary talents.
'A mesmerising, labyrinthine, intricately patterned and astonishingly original novel.'- Joshua Ferris.
'A wonderful debut by a truly exciting new writer- The Rehearsal is compulsively good and while at the same time being immensely readable it also continually calls into question the relationship between so-called "reality" and fiction and the very nature of truth itself.'- Kate Atkinson.
'This is a daring book, full of velvety pleasures but never afraid to show its claws. Eleanor Catton is crazily talented and insightful- and best of all, she makes language seem new.'- Emily Perkins.
Eleanor Catton was born in 1985 in Canada and raised in New Zealand. She has received several prizes for this, her first novel, including the 2008 Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship to the Iowa Writers' Workshop- where she is currently based.
Allen and Unwin
Author: Eleanor Catton