Award-winning British novelist Hilary Mantel has died aged 70


His publisher called Mantel “one of the greatest English novelists of this century” whose works are considered “modern classics” and who “will be greatly missed”.

Mantel published her first novel in 1985, “Everyday is Mother’s Day,” a darkly comic story about a mentally handicapped girl and her terrifying mother, who communes with the living dead. (AP)

Hilary Mantel, the first British novelist to win the Booker Prize twice and who sold millions of books worldwide, has died aged 70, her publishers have announced.

“We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel, and our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald,” 4th Estate Books said Friday.

“It’s a devastating loss and we can only be grateful to him for leaving us such a magnificent job,” he added, without providing further details.

Mantel won the Booker Prize for ‘Wolf Hall’ (2009) and ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ (2012) and had been tipped to win again in 2020 with ‘The Mirror & The Light’, the third in the trilogy.

The Wolf Hall trilogy has so far been translated into 41 languages ​​with worldwide sales of over five million.

The TV adaptation of the first two books, starring Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy and Jonathan Pryce, was nominated for Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.

“We have lost a genius,” author JK Rowling tweeted on Friday, leading tributes.

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said on Twitter that it was “impossible to overstate the importance of the literary legacy left by Hilary Mantel”, describing the Wolf Hall trilogy as her “supreme achievement”.

“Modern Classics”

His publisher called Mantel “one of the greatest English novelists of this century” whose works are considered “modern classics” and who “will be greatly missed”.

Nicholas Pearson, former publishing director of 4th Estate, said the news of her death was a terrible loss both to those who knew her and to the world of literature.

“Hilary had a unique view of the world – she singled it out and revealed how it works in her contemporary and historical novels — each book is an unforgettable weave of illuminating phrases, unforgettable characters, and remarkable insight.

“She seemed to know it all. For a long time she was admired by critics, but The Wolf Hall Trilogy found her the vast readership she long deserved.”

It wasn’t until last month that Mantel confided in her that she was working on a new book, Pearson added.

“That we no longer have the pleasure of hearing his words is unbearable,” he said.

Mantel published her first novel in 1985, “Everyday is Mother’s Day,” a darkly comic story about a mentally handicapped girl and her terrifying mother, who communes with the living dead.

It built on Mantel’s post-college stint as a social worker, but was not the first novel she had written.

This manuscript was written in the 1970s but did not appear until 1992 as “A Place of Greater Security”, set in the years leading up to the French Revolution of 1789 and its bloody aftermath.

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Source: AFP

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