I am very aware of the pressures upon contemporary publishing to make money and to remain competitive in a competitive world, and I know that it is no small thing that my primary publishers, Granta, here in London, and Victoria University Press in New Zealand, never once made these pressures known to me while I was writing this book.”

In her eloquent Man Booker Prize acceptance speech, Eleanor Catton warmly praised her publishers for the support they had given her during the writing and editing of The Luminaries: “I was free throughout to concern myself of questions not of value, but of worth. This is all the more incredible to me because The Luminaries is and was from the very beginning, a publisher’s nightmare. The shape and form of the book made certain kinds of editorial suggestions not only mathematically impossible, but even more egregious, astrologically impossible.

“A very sensible email from one of my two editors, Sarah Holloway or Max Porter, might have even earned the very annoying and not at all sensible reply, ‘Well you would think that, being a Virgo.’”

I am delighted for Eleanor Catton, whose work I have admired since I discovered some of her short stories a few years ago. I am also pleased for her editors, whose contribution often goes unrecognised, and her publishers, whose importance to the author is increasingly questioned in the digital era. Granta and VUP are clearly proving their worth, and more power to them:

I am extraordinarily fortunate to have found a home at these publishing houses and to have found friends and colleagues and people who have managed to strike an elegant balance between making art and making money.”