The Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement


The Kenyon Review has selected Hilary Mantel as the winner of the 2016 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement.

A master literary artist of our generation. Hilary Mantel’s most recent novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, have created a cultural phenomenon.

New this year, Andrea Wulf will receive the first James Wright Award for Nature Writing given jointly by the Review and the Nature Conservancy.

Wulf brings to life the extraordinary Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary who first demonstrated the organic connection binding together all aspects of the natural world.

Mantel and Wulf will accept their Kenyon Review awards in New York City on Nov. 3rd.

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The Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement is presented at a gala benefit dinner each year in New York City at the Rainbow Room. The prize honors careers of extraordinary literary achievement, recognizing writers whose influence and importance have shaped the American literary landscape. It celebrates writers for the courage of their vision, their unparalleled imagination, and for the beauty of their art.

This is an awards dinner unlike any other—the food and wine are exceptional, as has been the company—counting such luminaries as Roger Rosenblatt, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gloria Vanderbilt, the late George Plimpton, and more among its guests. Past years have seen such corporations as Bloomberg, MacAndrews & Forbes, O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, and other distinguished companies sign on as sponsors.

Proceeds from the benefit dinner support The Kenyon Review. Funds are raised through table sponsorships, ticket sales, donations, and a live auction. The event insures the future legacy of one of America’s oldest and most respected literary journals. Further, the live auction includes the opportunity to support scholarships to KR‘s celebrated summer programs—nurturing the next generations of writers and readers.

About Hilary Mantel
Dame Hilary Mantel CBE is the author of fourteen books, including Eight Months on Ghazzah Street (1988); Fludd (1989), winner of the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, the Cheltenham Prize and the Southern Arts Literature Prize; A Place of Greater Safety (1992), winner of the Sunday Express Book of the Year award; A Change of Climate (1994); An Experiment in Love (1995), winner of the 1996 Hawthornden Prize; the memoir Giving Up the Ghost (2003); Beyond Black (2005), shortlisted for a 2006 Commonwealth Writers Prize and for the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize; and Wolf Hall (2009), winner of the Man Booker Prize. In 2012 she released a sequel to Wolf HallBring Up The Bodies, which won the 2012 Man Booker Prize, an unprecedented achievement. She is currently at work on the third book in the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy.

Mantel studied Law at the London School of Economics and Sheffield University. She lived in Botswana for five years, followed by four years in Saudi Arabia, before returning to Britain in the mid-1980s. She worked as a social worker (which later inspired her novels Every Day is Mother’s Day and Vacant Possession), a sales assistant, a teacher, and a book reviewer. In 1987 she was awarded the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for Travel Writing, and she became the film critic for The Spectator. When she wasn’t writing, she sat on the Council of the Royal Society of Literature, Society of Authors, and the Advisory Committee for Public Lending Right.

She reviews widely for a range of newspapers and publications, including The Guardian and the London Review of Books. In 2006, she was awarded a CBE. She was made a Dame in 2014.

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s stage adaptation Wolf Hall, Parts One & Two enjoyed a sell-out run in London and tremendous success in the U.S. A Wolf Hall mini-series aired around the same time on the BBC.

She lives in Devon with her husband, Gerald.

About Andrea Wulf
Andrea Wulf was born in India and moved to Germany as a child. She lives in Britain where she trained as a design historian at the Royal College of Art. She is the author of The Brother Gardeners and the co-author of This Other Eden. Her book Founding Gardeners was published to great acclaim in spring 2011. Her Chasing Venus was published in 2012 in eight countries in conjunction with the last transit of Venus in our century. And her latest book The Invention of Nature has received rave reviews and is a New York Times bestseller. She has written for New York Times, the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, and many others.

She has lectured widely to large audiences at the Royal Geographical Society and Royal Society in London, the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, Monticello and the New York Public Library among many others. She is a three-time fellow of the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and the Eccles British Library Writer in Residence 2013. She’s a member of PEN American Center.

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