Raise a glass to the Mantel and Booker judges

It’s an astonishing achievement to win a prize like the Man Booker prize once in a lifetime. To win it twice is remarkable. To win it for two books out of a trilogy  is truly extraordinary.

But when Mantel took the stage at the Guildhall to receive her prize tonight, she was the model of graciousness that Oscar winners would do well to note and learn from. She opened with a great joke:

“you wait twenty years for a Booker prize and then two come along at once.”

And then immediately paid tribute to those who had not won and thanked the people who had believed in her and helped her to bring Bring up the Bodies to print.

She knew the stakes were staked against her – only two other authors have ever won the Booker prize twice and none of them had such a short interlude between each prize. Her final comment shows that she knows the stakes only get higher now:

“I have to go away and write the third part of the trilogy.”

The judges decision shows once again why I should never take to the Black Jack tables in Vegas. I always pick the wrong one – I kept saying for the last few months that as superb as I thought Bring Up the Bodies is, I couldn’t see the judges giving it to her just because it was the second in the series and was about the same character. Just shows how wrong I could be. But for once how the right the Booker judges got it this year.

I should also thank them for enabling me to tick another Booker prize winner of my list to be read!!


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

5 thoughts on “Raise a glass to the Mantel and Booker judges

  • October 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Kudos to Mantel. Tremendous that she has now won twice! What a feat! I have read Bring Up the Bodies but not Wolf Hall yet. But now I’m interested in the other Booker short-listers, notably Swimming Home and The Lighthouse. Both of them sound good. Will put them on my TBR list. thx and cheers http://www.thecuecard.com/

  • October 16, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    I am avidly following your love of the Booker Prize. I have Wolf Hall on my to read list. Now I have another to add. Sometimes it’s fun to read books back to back. Thanks for posting and keeping us posted.

    • October 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Glad you’re getting something out of my ramblings Barbara. Take your time with Wolf Hall – it’s one to savour.

      Karen Heenan-Davies


  • October 16, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I loved Wolf Hall. I bought this one & it’s been sitting there waiting to be read! Perhaps this will compel me to get reading.

    • October 17, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      Don’t let it sit there much longer. Maybe though you should wait until you have one of those days when the weather is awful and you really don’t feel like doing much more than just curling up on the sofa and reading….


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