Hilary Mantel, author of the historical novel Bring Up the Bodies (Fourth Estate) has been awarded the 2012 Man Booker Prize. This is her second win.
Mantel first received the prize in 2009 for Wolf Hall (Fourth Estate), the first book in a trilogy of which Bring Up the Bodies is the second installment. Mantel is only the third author—after Peter Carey and J. M. Coetzee—and the first woman to win the prize twice, and is the first to win with a sequel. She receives an award of 50,000 British pounds.
The Wolf Hall trilogy surrounds Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII, and the eventual death of Anne Boleyn. In an announcement made last week on the Man Booker website, the judges said of Mantel’s work: “Her resuscitation of Thomas Cromwell—and with him the historical novel—is one of the great achievements of modern literature.”
The book was selected from a shortlist that included Tan Twan Eng for The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books), Deborah Levy for Swimming Home (And Other Stories), Alison Moore for The Lighthouse (Salt), Will Self for Umbrella (Bloomsbury), and Jeet Thayil for Narcopolis (Faber & Faber). Peter Stothard, Dinah Birch, Amanda Foreman, Dan Stevens, and Bharat Tandon judged.
Mantel is currently at work on the third and final installment in the trilogy, to be titled The Mirror and the Light, which will continue Cromwell's story until his execution in 1540.
In the video below from the Guardian, Mantel discusses her second Man Booker win.