More on Mantel’s Win

Now that Hilary Mantel has won her second Booker in a row, the media takes a look at the stats. She is the…

First person to win for a direct sequel — the BBC

First woman to win the prize twiceThe Daily Mail

First British author to win twiceThe Independent

Third double winner — the BBC

In August, it was announced that the two books, Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, are being adapted as a BBC2 series, expected to air late in 2013 in the UK.

Of course, both Bring up the Bodies, and its predecessor, Wolf Hall, are rising on Amazon’s sales ranking. Mantel has written many others, a total of twelve, as outlined by the BBC. For more about Mantel’s earlier work, check the essay, “Devil’s Work,” in 28 Artists & 2 Saints by Joan Acocella (RH/Pantehon, 2007). Written before Mantel became well-known in the US, it calls her “one of England’s most interesting contemporary novelists” and notes that she “has experimented with her gift; her books jump from genre to genre,” which is clear from the following list of her titles (unless otherwise noted, the quotes are from the BBC. Links are to the US editions):

Every Day Is Mother’s Day, 1985 — her first published novel about “an agoraphobic clairvoyant, her daughter and their social worker…inspired  by the author’s experiences as a social work assistant at a geriatric hospital.” The publisher describes it as “Stephen King meets Muriel Spark.”

Vacant Possession, 1986 — sequel to the above.

Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, 1988 — draws on Mantel’s experiences while living in Saudi Arabia with her husband, a geologist, in the 1970s.

Fludd, 1989 — “this dark, often surreal fable” about a newcomer’s impact on a small mill town in Northern England won several prizes in the UK. It was reviewed in the NYT BR.

A Place of Greater Safety, 1992 — a historical novel set during the French Revolution. It won the Sunday Express Book of the Year award. It was reviewed in the New York Times.

A Change of Climate1994 — “about a missionary couple who lose a child.”

An Experiment in Love1995 — “about three schoolfriends from northern England,” it was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year and was reviewed in the NYT BR by Margaret Atwood, who called Mantel “an exceptionally good writer.”

The Giant, O’Brien1998 — “about an Irishman who comes to London to make his fortune as a sideshow attraction,” it is set in London in 1782 and was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year  as well as a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year.

Giving Up the Ghost: A Memoir, 2003 — “about her early childhood, her Catholic upbringing and how she came to be a writer. The title referred to the ‘ghosts of other lives you might have led,’ as the author realised she was ‘staring 50 in the face’,”

Beyond Black, 2005 — “about a medium who is tormented by her acquaintances, both the living and the dead.” It was shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Orange Prize for Fiction. It was also a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Wolf Hall, 2009 — the book “that really made her name.”


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