Hilary Mantel wins Booker Prize 2012
The best book I ever read is 'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel. Set in the time of King Henry VIII, it's got historical detail, royalty, passion, fighting, love, greed, deception, the bonds of loyalty, the pull of family and the cruelty of betrayal. It won the Man Booker prize in 2009. I squealed with excitement when I found out she was writing a sequel - 'Bring Up the Bodies' was published earlier this year.
And I managed another squeak of excitement (well it was 7am this morning) when I heard she's just won the Man Booker for this one as well. She is the first British writer to have won the Booker prize twice. Women don't win as many prizes as men. They don't get shortlisted as often and they don't generally receive as much recognition. So it's great to celebrate her Booker 'first'.
And struggling authors - men and women - should take heart. 'Wolf Hall' was rejected by a whole string of publishers before Fourth Estate took it up. Publishers said it was 'too heavy', readers wanted 'chick lit'. Two Bookers later, looks like she's proved them wrong ....
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