I met up with Eleanor Catton while she was in New York to discuss her incredible Booker Award-winning novel, The Luminaries. To our mutual surprise, we ended up chatting for 71 minutes about the golden ratio, reader intentions, Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach, how old newspapers are a highly reliable way of knowing an era, literary authors who moonlight under genre, eccentric forms of tax evasion, and the true impact of history and politics on everyday lives. This novel is truly one of my favorites of the year. But I also know that some readers have had difficulty wrapping their heads around the book’s massive structure. So I’ve prepared an introductory segment which illustrates the dichotomy paradox and offers a few hints on what the book is up to. Eleanor was a delight to talk with. But she’s also someone who any literary person should read at the earliest possible opportunity.