Mantel bags second Booker
Hilary Mantel did not figure on a list of the 20 best young British novelists published by a literary magazine in 1983. On Tuesday, she became the first British novelist to bag the prestigious Man Booker prize twice. Dipankar De Sarkar reports. HT fast factsworld Updated: Oct 18, 2012 01:31 IST
Hilary Mantel did not figure on a list of the 20 best young British novelists published by a literary magazine in 1983. On Tuesday, she became the first British novelist to bag the prestigious Man Booker prize twice.
The 60-year-old writer, whose Booker award was her second in only three years, stood up and folded her hands in a courteous 'namaste' to fellow diners at the gala banquet at Guildhall in central London. "Well, I don't know," she said. "You wait 20 years for a Booker Prize and two come along at once."
"In (Mantel's novel) Bring Up the Bodies, our greatest modern writer retells the origins of modern England," said chairman of the judges and editor of the Times Literary Supplement, Peter Stothard.
The nominees included the Indian poet and writer Jeet Thayill, who had an outside chance of winning the award that goes out every year to the best novel in English by a writer from the Commonwealth and Ireland.
She becomes only the third author, after Australian Peter Cary and South African JM Coetzee to win the prize twice and is the first to win with a sequel - Bring Up the Bodies is the second in a trilogy that began with the Booker-winning Wolf Hall in 2009.
"There is the last volume of her trilogy still to come so her Man Booker tale may yet have a further chapter," spokesperson for the Man Booker said.
"I assure you that I have no expectations I will be standing here again," Mantel joked as she accepted the award.
Central to the Tudor trilogy is the anti-hero Sir Thomas Cromwell - King Henry VIII's chief minister, spymaster, torturer and of the most ruthless and powerful men ever to dominate British politics.