Second Booker Win Puts Mantel Among Literary Elite

Weekend Edition host Scott Simon on author Hilary Mantel's big win. She recently became the first woman ever to win two Man Booker Prizes. Both were for her historical fiction series about Thomas Cromwell.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week, Hilary Mantel won the Man Booker Prize for "Bring Up The Bodies," her historical novel of Thomas Cromwell. She's only the third writer, and the second woman, to win the prize twice. "Bring Up The Bodies" is also the first sequel to win that prestigious award. It's the second book in a planned trilogy. When we spoke with Hilary Mantel in May, she told us that she felt more bystander than author, in Cromwell's story.

When we spoke with Hilary Mantel in May, she told us that she felt more bystander than author, in Cromwell's story.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

HILARY MANTEL: He's a work in progress, as far as I'm concerned. I'm far from being able to add him up. I'm not even trying, at this point. I seem to have set the mechanism ticking. And now, I'm standing back, and I'm watching.

SIMON: "Bring Up the Bodies" ends with Cromwell on top. But as the last line reads: There are no endings. If you think so, you are deceived as to their nature. They are all beginnings. Here is one.

We'll look forward to Hilary Mantel's next beginning.

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