By Hemanta Pande: British writer Hilary Mantel has won this year’s “Booker literary prize” for her historic novel, ‘Bring Up The Bodies’. Mantel is the first woman and the first British author to win the prestigious literary prize twice.
“Bring Up the Bodies” is the first sequel to win the prize. It and “Wolf Hall” are parts of a planned trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, the powerful and ambiguous chief minister to King Henry VIII. The book traces the intertwined fates of Cromwell and the monarch’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, who fell from favor when she failed to produce a male heir.
Ms Mantel earlier won the 50,000 pound ($82,000) award in 2009 for ‘Wolf Hall’.
Ms Mantel, who quipped in 2009 that she planned to spend her prize money on sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, said, “I’m afraid the answer will be much duller this year.” “Rehab,” she joked, before adding: “My pension, probably.”
Ms Mantel joins Peter Carey of Australia and J.M. Coetzee of South Africa as a two-time winner of the prize, which is open to writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth of former British colonies.
Ms Mantel outshined five other shortlisted writers to take the prize, including Britain’s Will Self for “Umbrella; Indian poet Jeet Thayil’ for “Narcopolis,”; Britain’s Alison Moore for “The Lighthouse ; Malaysia’s Tan Twan Eng for “The Garden of Evening Mists,” and South Africa-born Briton Deborah Levy for “Swimming Home.”
Established in 1969, the prize officially known as the ‘Man Booker Prize’ after its sponsor, financial services firm Man Group PLC – usually brings a huge sales and publicity boost for the winner.