Booker prize goes to Hilary Mantel for Wolf Hall

She was the bookies' favourite, the people's favourite and tonight Hilary Mantel became the judges' favourite as Wolf Hall, her vividly told tale of Tudor intrigue, emerged triumphant at the Man Booker prize.

By the end of their three-hour meeting today the Booker judges were split three-two in favour of Mantel's fly-on-the-wall account of the life of Henry VIII's fixer, Thomas Cromwell. Although it was not a unanimous decision, Jim Naughtie, the BBC broadcaster who chaired this year's judging panel, said all five were happy to name it the winner. He said: "Our decision was based on the sheer bigness of the book, the boldness of its narrative and scene-setting, the gleam that there is in its detail."

This year's winner emerged from a total of 132 books read by the judges. The others on the panel were the comedian and broadcaster Sue Perkins, writer and critic Lucasta Miller, Sunday Telegraph journalist Michael Prodger and academic and Guardian columnist John Mullan. It was such a strong year that six former winners – Margaret Attwood, John Banville, Anita Brookner, Kazuo Ishiguro, Thomas Keneally and Penelope Lively – failed even to make the longlist.


1 comment:

  1. This can be a difficult read, but it is so engrossing that it's definitely worth the effort. Fascinating in both the story and writing style.