Mantel makes Man Booker history with 2nd fiction prize

2012-10-18 08:28:38 GMT2012-10-18 16:28:38(Beijing Time)  SINA.com
Author Hilary Mantel poses with her book ''Bring up the Bodies'', after winning the 2012 Man Booker Prize, at the Guildhall in London October 16, 2012. Mantel wrote herself into the history books on Tuesday, becoming the first woman and first Briton to win the coveted Man Booker prize for fiction twice with ''Bring Up the Bodies'', the sequel to her acclaimed Author Hilary Mantel poses with her book ''Bring up the Bodies'', after winning the 2012 Man Booker Prize, at the Guildhall in London October 16, 2012. Mantel wrote herself into the history books on Tuesday, becoming the first woman and first Briton to win the coveted Man Booker prize for fiction twice with ''Bring Up the Bodies'', the sequel to her acclaimed "Wolf Hall".(Photo by Reuters)

Hilary Mantel wrote herself into the history books on Tuesday, becoming the first woman and first Briton to win the coveted Man Booker prize for fiction twice with "Bring Up the Bodies", the sequel to her acclaimed "Wolf Hall".

Two men had previously "done the double" - J.M. Coetzee who was born in South Africa and Australia's Peter Carey.

Chair of judges Peter Stothard described Mantel as the "greatest modern English prose writer" and told reporters she had rewritten the art of historical fiction.

Wolf Hall, her re-imagining of the rise of blacksmith's son Thomas Cromwell to the pinnacle of power in King Henry VIII's court, won the 50,000 pound prize in 2009.

Bring Up the Bodies, published by HarperCollins imprint Fourth Estate, picks up the action in 1535 with Anne Boleyn's spectacular fall from grace and execution the following year.

"Well, I don't know, you wait 20 years for a Booker prize and two come among at once," Mantel joked as she accepted her award in the medieval splendour of the Guildhall banqueting hall in central London.

There could yet be a third Booker prize for Mantel. The final part of her epic trilogy, called "The Mirror and the Light", is expected to hit shelves in 2015.

"I have to go away and write the third part of the trilogy. I assure you I have no expectation that I will be standing here (again)," she told an audience of fellow nominees, publishing executives and London's literati.

Stothard, who is editor of the Times Literary Supplement, likened the character of Cromwell to Don Corleone of the famous "Godfather" film series.

"If you are looking for comparing it with things, you can see as much Don Corleone in this book as D.H. Lawrence," he said. "There is certainly a Godfather element to this book including ... the moral ambiguity of the Don Corleone/Thomas Cromwell figure."

(Agencies)

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