This week, Bring up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel was announced as the winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize for 2012. The novel is sequel to Mantel’s brilliant historical work Wolf Hall, which won the same prestigious prize in 2009.
The Man Booker Prize website announced Mantel’s win earlier this week: ‘The whittling has finished. The judges of this year’s Man Booker Prize started with a daunting 145 novels and have winnowed, sifted, culled, and in some cases hurled, until there was only one left: Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies.’
With the win, Mantel joins Peter Carey and J.M Coetzee as the only authors in Man Booker history to win the prize more than once. She is also the first writer ever to win the Prize for a sequel and the first to win within such a short time between books.
Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies will eventually be joined by a third book, forming a trilogy. Depicting the life and times of historical figure Thomas Cromwell, the books have been praised as ‘one of the great achievements of modern literature’ and for ‘resuscitating historical fiction’ (www.themanbookerprize.com).
As for whether or not Mantel will take the Prize a third time with the final installment of the trilogy, only time will tell…