Hilary Mantel Day

May 7, 2012

We knew something was planned, because we’d had to sign a very strict embargo not to breathe a word about Bring Up the Bodies just in order to get a review copy. Even so, the blanket media coverage of Hilary Mantel’s new release is astonishing. In the UK at least, it’s creating more news stories than the French elections. There are 51 news items posted that google knows about. Which is tremendous. I loved Wolf Hall, and have recently re-read it. I do fear, though, that such ubiquity of praise may cause a back-lash.

Our own contribution to Hilary Mantel Day is now posted also: Lucinda Byatt’s interview, The border between truth and lies. Number 52 for google (and Bring Up the Bodies isn’t published for another three days). A big thank you to Hilary, who has been extremely gracious and supportive to our society in what must have been a media storm. And gracious over time, too. Back in 1998 she judged our Explore Prize, which led to us publishing A Star Falls in Memphis by the then little-known Michel Faber.

As for all those other articles, my favourite so far is extremely pithy: Hilary Mantel’s 5 Favourite Historical Fictions. I also loved finding in a piece in USA Today that Toni Morrison had been reading Wolf Hall on her iPad but found it too good: “I had to go buy the book book, or whatever it’s called now. When I like a book, I want to add my notes. Exclamation points! And questions marks! I want to corrupt it with my responses.” I’d love to read some of those responses!

Listen here to five minutes from the unabridged audio book, narrated by Simon Vance.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Posted by Richard Lee