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Mantel wins second Booker fiction prize

  • Hilary Mantel made history on Tuesday by becoming the first woman to win the Man Booker prize for fiction twice with Bring Up the Bodies, the sequel to her acclaimed Wolf Hall.

    Two men had previously "done the double", J.M. Coetzee and Peter Carey.

    Chair of judges Peter Stothard described Mantel as the "greatest modern English prose writer", telling reporters she had rewritten the art of historical fiction.

    Wolf Hall, her re-imagining of the rise of blacksmith's son Thomas Cromwell to the top of the court of King Henry VIII, claimed the $80,500 prize in 2009.

    Bring Up the Bodies continues with the story in 1535 following Anne Boleyn's fall from grace and execution the following year.

    "This is a bloody story of the death of Anne Boleyn and the pursuit of Anne Boleyn, but Hilary Mantel is a writer who thinks through the blood. She uses her power of prose to create moral ambiguity and the real uncertainty about political life then," Stothard said.

    The final installation of Mantel’s trilogy, titled The Mirror and the Light, is due to be published in 2015.