Booker-prize winning author Hilary Mantel passes away at 70

Dame Hilary Mantel, the author of the best selling Wolf Hall trilogy was the first woman to receive the Booker Prize twice.
Dame Hilary Mantel
Dame Hilary Mantel
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Booker Prize-winning author Dame Hilary Mantel (70), the author of the best-selling Wolf Hall trilogy, passed away on Thursday, September 22. In a tweet from its official account on Friday, HarperCollins UK expressed their condolences and said that she “died suddenly yet peacefully”, surrounded by close family and friends. However, the reason for her demise is not yet known.

“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. This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work,” the publishing house tweeted.

Born on July 6, 1952 in Glossop, Derbyshire in England, Mantel received the prestigious Booker Prize twice, for 2009's Wolf Hall, which is the first in the Thomas Cromwell series, and the 2012 follow-up, Bring Up the Bodies. The conclusion to her trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, which was published in 2020 to much critical acclaim, became a fiction best-seller and was shortlisted for The Booker Prize 2020. More than five million copies of this trilogy - that has been translated into 41 languages - were sold globally.

Dame had studied Law at the London School of Economics and Sheffield University. She was also a social worker, and lived in Botswana for five years, followed by four years in Saudi Arabia, before returning to Britain in the mid-1980s. Dame Hilary was the first woman to receive the Booker Prize twice. She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1990.

“It is impossible to overstate the significance of the literary legacy Hilary Mantel leaves behind. Her brilliant Wolf Hall trilogy was the crowning achievement in an outstanding body of work. Rest in peace,” Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

(With PTI inputs)

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