“You wait 20 years for a Booker Prize and two come along at once.”
Hilary Mantel has won The Man Booker Prize for 2012 with the second in her trilogy about Henry VIII’s right hand man, Thomas Cromwell, Bring Up the Bodies. The judges commended Bring Up the Bodies for its vitality, fierce intelligence and for its prose.
Hilary won the Man Booker Prize in 2009 with her first novel in the trilogy, Wolf Hall. Ms Mantel is only the third author to win the award twice (JM Coetzee won in 1983 and 1999 and Peter Carey in 1988 and 2001.) She is, however, the first author to win with a sequel. The third book, The Mirror and the Light, is currently being written.
“This double accolade is uniquely deserved,” said Sir Peter Stothard, chair of the judges. “Hilary Mantel has rewritten the rules for historical fiction.”
Not only does Ms Mantel go home £50,000 richer but winning the Man Booker Prize has a significant impact on the sales of the winning novel. Although, according to the latest figures, Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies has sold 108,342 copies, which is more than the other 11 Man Booker longlisted novels combined!
This lovely slideshow on the Guardian’s DataBlog site gives you an idea of what is required to win this presitgious prize.
The other novels short-listed for the award were: