The Board of Trustees of The Kenyon Review was pleased to honor Hilary Mantel as the 2016 recipient of the 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.
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 Hall, Bring 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.
Click here to listen to O. Henry Prize winner and Kenyon Review editor David H. Lynn talk with Hilary Mantel, twice the winner of the Man Booker Prize, about the way historical novels are published, what it’s like to live in the world of one character for more than ten years, writing for the stage, and the final book in her Thomas Cromwell Trilogy, The Mirror and the Light.