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Two-time Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel dies at 70

British novelist Hilary Mantell has died at the age of 70, according to HarperCollins. The late woman is the first writer to twice win the prestigious British literary prize, the Booker Prize.

“It is with profound sadness that HarperCollins announces that her highly successful author, Hilary Mantell, passed away peacefully Thursday at the age of 70, surrounded by family and close friends,” the publishing house said in a statement.

The writer published 17 works, the first of which was “Every Day Is Mathers Day” (Every Day Is Mother’s Day) in 1985, but she gained great fame after publishing a series of 3 books entitled “Wolf Hole” (The Palace of Wolves) dealing with the turbulent life of Thomas Cromwell, who was One of the most prominent faces of the reformist trend in England.

Mantell has twice won the prestigious British Literary Prize for the first two books, “Palace of the Wolves” and “Exhuming the Carcasses”, in the book series, which has been translated into 41 languages. As for the last book in the series, entitled “Mirror and Light” (published in 2020), it was praised by critics, and on the day of its release, queues of readers formed in front of bookstores to buy it.

Mantell (née Thompson at birth) was born on July 6, 1952, in Derbyshire, to a family of Irish descent, and grew up with the disadvantages of being a “woman from the North and poor”, as she refers to in her memoir “Ghost Delivery” published in 2003.

The late woman imagined her life with a daughter who did not actually give birth to her, as she became infertile as a result of undergoing surgery for endometriosis.

“Hillary was the best of her generation, an important and courageous writer who shows great compassion in her work (…) Her presence, wisdom and sense of humor will all be missed, and we cherish her incredible literary legacy,” said HarperCollins UK CEO, according to what the statement quoted him as saying.

The writer Nicholas Pearson pointed out that each of Mantel’s books constitutes an “unforgettable plot with luminous sentences and unforgettable characters, with an amazing vision,” noting that the late woman was working last month on a new novel.

“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling tweeted that Mantell was “a genius”.

“All the prize holders are very sad” at Mantell’s death, wrote the British Booker Prize’s Twitter account.

Biography similar to her characters

In 1972, Mantell married geologist Gerald McQueen, in 1974 she began writing a novel about the French Revolution, later published in 1992, and in 1977 she moved to Botswana with her husband, where they lived for 5 years.

Mantell’s 2009 feature-length novel “Wolf Hall” was praised by critics and received the Booker Prize the same year, with the jury calling it an “extraordinary piece of storytelling” while Mantell said upon receiving the award that she would spend her money on “personal whims”. .

In 2012, Mantell completed the story with a sequel to the trilogy, “Bring Up the Bodies,” to win her second Booker Prize, becoming the first British writer and first woman to win the prestigious award more than once.

Some of the late novels were turned into artistic plays produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and were also produced as a mini-series for the BBC.

Source: Aljazeera

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