A teacher's affair with his underage student jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own power. Their nascent desires surprise even themselves as they find the practice room where they rehearse with their saxophone teacher is the safe place where they can test out their abilities to attract and manipulate. It seems their every act is a performance, every platform a stage.
But when the local drama school turns the story into their year-end show, the real world and the world of the theater are forced to meet. With the dates of the performances - the musicians and the acting students approaching, the dramas, real and staged, begin to resemble each other, until they merge in a climax worthy of both life and art.
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"It's a good piece of writing, but not an especially enjoyable novel." - Publishers Weekly
"[A] challenging and sometimes over-intellectualized read, but the combination of beautiful writing and inventive, nontraditional structure still make it a dazzling debut." - Booklist
"The Rehearsal is a significant debut novel from an exciting young writer. Eleanor Catton is a new talent who has arrived fully formed, with an accomplished, confident and mature voice. This is a startling novel, striking and strange and brave." - New Zealand Listener
"Dazzling....This astonishing debut novel is a cause for surprise and celebration: smart, playful and self-possessed, it has the glitter and mystery of the true literary original....wherever the book falls open it's near-impossible to put down." - Guardian (UK)
"Uncommonly witty and bold .... [The Rehearsal has] a real knack for narrative and a cast of painfully familiar teenage characters who are all desperate to be as confident, cool, charismatic and funny as possible. These are qualities that the extraordinary Eleanor Catton has in spades." - London Times
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Eleanor Catton eas born in 1985 in Canada and raised in Canterbury, New Zealand. She completed an MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University in 2007 and won the Adam Prize in Creative Writing for her first novel, The Rehearsal, which was also long-listed for the Orange Prize and short-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize. She studied at the Iowa Writers' Workshop as the recipient of the 2008 Glenn Schaeffer Fellowship. She was a 2010 Arts Foundation New Generation Award recipient, and in 2012 was awarded the University of Auckland Residency at the Michael King Writers' Centre.
Her second novel, The Luminaries, was published in 2013 and won the prestigious 2013 Man Booker Prize - making Catton, at the age of 28, the youngest author ever to win the Booker.
Catton currently lives in ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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