Is Hilary Mantel flattening young talent like a steamroller?


Hilary Mantel has won the Costa Book Prize with her book Bring Up The Bodies. Here’s what she said in her acceptance speech:

*”There was an article in the press a couple of days ago which suggested Thomas Cromwell and I were moving over the writing of England flattening young talent like a steamroller… and if I won any more awards, I’d have to start apologising… I’m not going to apologise, and I will make it my business to write more books that will be worth prizes.”

What do you think? Should Hilary Mantel apologise and is she flattening young talent like a steamroller?


thanks for photo to  mrpbps

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4 Responses to Is Hilary Mantel flattening young talent like a steamroller?

  1. fiona says:

    I can see why the comment was made as she is storming through the literary world, collecting prizes en route, but I feel it is well deserved. It is, as they say, a first for any writer to win both the Costa Book Award and the Man Booker Prize but she can’t be held back just to allow other writers an entry point. The awards go to the best book and given that the judges decisions were unanimous, it seems difficult to argue with their decision. I wish her all the best and am especially pleased for her, given the atrocious childhood she suffered and the sheer amount of work she has put in to her research and writing. Have you read The Long GT? It’s brilliant!

    • Hi Fiona, yes, i think it’s a pity to view her success as “flattening talent”. I think she is an inspiration. Our very own, seriously , seriously excellent woman writer. Yeh hey! Eat your heart all the men writers ;o) A long time ago I read one of her first novels set in Saudi Arabia (Eight Months on Ghazzah Street) and was gripped. I’ve not yet read Bring Up The Bodies or Wolf Hall yet, I couldn’t get into either of them BUT it’s more of a personal thing in that Cromwell and that time does not appeal to me. Thanks so much for forwarding The Long GT. It’s great – as ever gripping from the off. Every word is exactly right. All hail Hilary Mantel!

  2. I don’t think she is flattening talent, surely she should be inspirational if she can write well enough to win awards – and I don’t think she should be barred from winning a second award because she has won one already. That would be like saying that someone who had won a gold medal in a World Championship, couldn’t enter the Olympics!

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