Hilary Mantel has won this year’s £50,000 Man Booker Prize for her historical novel Bring up the Bodies chalking up a raft of "firsts’’----the first ever woman and the first living British novelist to win the prize twice, after Peter Carey and J.M. Coetzee.
"You wait 20 years for a Booker Prize and two come along at once," she joked after receiving the prize at a high-profile champagne-soaked event at London’s Guildhall on Tuesday.
Her five disappointed rivals included the Kerala-born writer and poet Jeet Thayil whose debut novel Narcopolis was a strong contender.
Bring up the Bodies, which chronicles the downfall of Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn, is a sequel to Wolf Hall which won Ms Mantel her first Booker in 2009.