A brilliant collection of short stories from the double Man Booker Prize-winning author of Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies
Hilary Mantel is one of Britain’s most accomplished, acclaimed and garlanded writers. Uniquely, her last two novels, Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies, both won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
In this new collection of ten stories, all her gifts of characterisation, observation and intelligence are once again fully on display. With settings ranging from Saudi Arabia to Greece to London, they reveal a great writer at the peak of her powers.
‘An exhilarating, if dark, collection … ‘The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher’ is a small triumph: a lesson in artfully controlled savagery’ Sunday Times
‘Remarkably good: taut, engaging and shocking … acutely observed’ Evening Standard
‘What a fabulously nasty concoction Hilary Mantel has served up … Throughout the collection, the voices … are all perfectly pitched … That title story, wickedly good, is alone worth the price of admission to the book.’ Simon Schama, Financial Times
‘The best stories in the collection … combine sharp observation and sly wit with a subtle burrowing into the recesses of her protagonists’ heads. The darker stories recall both the metaphysical speculations of Jorge Luis Borges and the trickery of Roald Dahl’ Mail on Sunday
‘Infused with Mantel’s almost lush evocations of isolation and distress … All in all, these are alluring portraits of interior disquiet’ Observer
‘No one else quite sounds like Mantel in this vein, although a top-level summit of Muriel Spark and Alan Bennett might conceivably come close. Mantel takes absolutely nothing on trust. Bodies can, and will, malfunction; ditto minds, and marriages. Malice, power or simple chance may always undermine the ground beneath your feet’ Independent
‘These are the sticky slices of suburban noir that Mantel served up so well in her pre-Wolf Hall output and they never fail to deliver’ The Times
Hilary Mantel is one of Britain's most accomplished, acclaimed and garlanded writers. Uniquely, her last two novels, Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies, both won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. She is is the first British author to have won two Booker prizes, the only woman to have done so and the only writer to have won with two consecutive novels. Sir Peter Stothard, Chair of the judges for the Man Booker Prize 2012, hailed her as 'the greatest modern English prose writer'. Wolf Hall is the most successful Booker winner since records began, selling over 200,000 copies in hardback, and 600,000 copies in paperback, in the UK alone.
She was born in northern Derbyshire in 1952. She was educated at a convent school in Cheshire and went on to the LSE and Sheffield University, where she studied law. After university she was briefly a social worker in a geriatric hospital, and much later used her experiences in her novels Every Day is Mother's Day and Vacant Possession. In 1977 she went to live in Botswana with her husband, then a geologist. In 1982 they moved on to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, where she would set her third novel, Eight Months on Ghazzah Street.
Her first novel was published in 1985, and she returned to the UK the following year. In 1987 she was awarded the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for travel writing, and became the film critic of the Spectator. Her fourth novel, Fludd, was awarded the Cheltenham Festival Prize, the Southern Arts Literature Prize, and the Winifred Holtby Prize. Her fifth novel, A Place of Greater Safety, won the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award.
A Change of Climate, published in 1993, is the story of an East Anglian family, former missionaries, torn apart by conflicts generated in Southern Africa in the early years of Apartheid. An Experiment in Love, published in 1995, is a story about childhood and university life, set in London in 1970. It was awarded the Hawthornden Prize. Beyond Black, published in 2005, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, while Wolf Hall won the 2009 Man Booker Prize, and Bring Up the Bodies, its sequel, won the 2012 Man Booker Prize. Hilary was also awarded a CBE in 2006. In 2014 she was made a Dame.
She reviews widely for a range of newspapers and magazines, and is currently working on the sequel to Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, to be called The Mirror and the Light. A new short story collection, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, was published in 2014.