Eleanor Catton (born 1985) is a New Zealand author best known for her 2007 debut novel, The Rehearsal. The book deals with reactions to an affair between a male teacher and Victoria, a girl at his secondary school, and the more muted response to the death of another pupil. A drama school student, who participates in creating and staging a production based on the affair, develops a relationship with Victoria's younger sister, Isolde. An independent saxophone teacher, through her conversations with girls from the school, including Isolde, and their mothers, discovers elements of the story, casts her quirky eye over them, and adds spice to the tale. The third person narration does not specify the location, not even the country. The story is contemporary. It has a strong focus on relationships and the inner world of characters.
Eleanor Catton was born in Canada while her father, a New Zealand graduate, was completing a doctorate at the University of Western Ontario. She lived in Yorkshire until the age of 13, before her family settled in Canterbury, New Zealand. She attended Burnside High School, studied English at Canterbury University, and completed a Masters in Creative Writing at The Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington. She wrote the novel as her Master's Thesis.
She was described in 2009 as "this year's golden girl of fiction"