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Hilary Mantel picks up her second Booker Prize

Congratulations to author Hilary Mantel. As predicted, her novel Bring up the Bodies has just been announced in London’s Guildhall as the winner of this year’s £50,000 Man Booker Prize award. This also means that signed copies of Bring Up the Bodies will increase in value very quickly, be quick if you want one.

The announcement makes Mantel the first British author ever to be awarded the Booker Prize twice (she won previously in 2009 for Wolf Hall).  Both Peter Carey (Australia) and J.M. Coetzee (South Africa) have won the prize twice. Bring up the Bodies, published in May, is the sequel to Wolf Hall. Both books describe the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell in the court of King Henry VIII – a third installment is planned. Imagine if she won a third time?

Mantel was previously longlisted in 2005 for Beyond Black. She was also a judge for the prize in 1990 when A.S. Byatt won. Mantel was made a CBE in 2006.

The Booker Prize judges had the daunting task of selecting 12 semi-finalists for the longlist, down from a list of 145 submissions. Then from the 12 that made the longlist, they cut away half, leaving just six novels for the shortlist, including the winner. The other five finalists were:

Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil

Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

The Lighthouse by Alison Moore

Umbrella by Will Self

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

All six of the shortlisted authors receive £2,500.

The Booker Prize was first awarded in 1969, and goes to the judges’ determination of best English language full-length novel. Last year’s award went to Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending which many assert should be classified as a novella at only 150 pages.

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