Eleanor Catton's "The Luminaries" adds another award to its growing list of accolades as Canada's Governor General's Literary Awards pronounces it cream of the English-language crop.
The award is open to works of fiction by Canadian writers and comes after Canadian-born New Zealander Catton picked up the 2013 Man Booker for the same lengthy novel.
"This exhilarating feat of literary design dazzles with masterful storytelling. Each character is a planet -- complex and brilliantly revealed. Precise sensual prose illuminates greed, fear, jealousy, longing -- all that it means to be human," wrote the judges.
Four other shortlisted finalists were "The Lion Seeker" by Kenneth Bonert, "The Orenda" by Joseph Boyden, "AA Beautiful Truth" by Colin McAdam and "The Hungry Ghosts" by Shyam Selvadurai.
"The Major Verbs," Donald Winkler's English translation of Pierre Nepveu's "Les verbes majeurs," won the translation award, while Stéphanie Pelletier's "Quand les guêpes se taisent" (trans. "When the Wasps are Silent") was declared best work of French-language fiction.