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The Luminaries' success welcomed in Hokitika

Wednesday 16 Oct 2013 5:18 p.m.

There was only one copy of Eleanor Catton's award-winning novel left for sale in Hokitika this morning.

Set in the small West Coast town during the gold rush era, The Luminaries has been flying off the shelves.

Hokitika book store owner Claudia Landers says she is just trying to keep up with demand.

"I've ordered every time at least twice as much stock as the time before and still we're running out," Ms Landers says.

Locals including Westland Mayor Mike Havill anticipate Catton's success could rub off on the coast.

"Particularly if the book gets a global following you know - quite often people like to research the area so potentially more people will come and visit us because of that, and who knows maybe there's a movie in the making," Mr Havill says.

And Julia Bradshaw from the Hokitika Museum couldn't agree more.

"People are going to want to see where the story was set and I think it's a really good thing," Ms Bradshaw says.

But it's not just on the coast where they're celebrating. At the Manukau Institute of Technology, where Catton teaches creative writing, staff and students watched the awards on a livestream.

"To see her accepting the award on such a huge global platform is incredibly exciting," student Kirsti Whalen says.

The significance of the win isn't lost on her colleagues either, including the head of creative writing Robert Sullivan.

"In short you know the Rugby World Cup - well, she's picked one up on her own. It's above and beyond most writers' dreams," Mr Sullivan says.

And although they can't promise a ticker tape parade down Queen St for their hero, the staff and students are planning a little more than cup cakes for when Catton returns to work.

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