BookerTalk

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!!

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