Archive for May, 2012

  • Hilary Mantel's Bring Up The Bodies Out Now

    BUTB banner
    • May 11, 2012 • Tags: ,

    Yesterday’s release of Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up The Bodies was frenzied and wonderful, sparking a kind of unbridled enthusiasm that is impossible to capture in text. High streets across the country sparkled with red and gold, and twitter and Facebook hummed to the din of devoted fans. We’ve compiled a collage of photos and review extracts to give a little taster of this spectacular publishing event…

    Thomas Penn interviews Hilary Mantel, The Telegraph: ‘There’s something lovely in being able to touch hands with the past in that way’

    Hilary Mantel interviewed on The History Girls: ‘I actually like the constraints, enjoy solving the narrative problems that arise when you have strict guidelines of fact. One problem is that real life does not have a neat dramatic shape, so you have to find it

    Slate Magazine: ‘Her latest book makes you angry, because you want more

    Margaret Atwood, Guardian: ‘Literary invention does not fail her: she’s as deft and verbally adroit as ever

    Andrew Motion, The Times: ‘Bring Up The Bodies is a richly self-sufficient pleasure…Historical novel? Of course, and probably the best to be published since Wolf Hall

    James Wood, The New Yorker: ‘Where much historical fiction gets entangled in the simulation of historical authenticity, Mantel bypasses those knots of concoction, and proceeds as if authenticity were magic rather than a science. She knows that what gives fiction its vitality is not the accurate detail but the animate one, and that novelists are creators, not coroners, of the human case … In short, this novelist has the maddeningly unteachable gift of being interesting.’

    Rachel Syme, Time: ‘The massive popularity of Game of Thrones and its depiction of violent bloodlust for royal power makes Bring up the Bodies an especially culture-relevant read, but Mantel’s novel deals with more than just heads on spikes and lusting in back rooms. She moves beyond the gory legends and dives deeper, into the story of a man torn—between what is right and what he knows he must do—and how quickly one’s fate can change’

    Thanks to all her fans for spreading the word on this fantastic sequel to the Booker Prize winning Wolf HallFollow us on twitter, or ‘like’ Hilary’s Facebook page to keep up to date with upcoming events and media features.

    David Roth-Ey, Victoria Barnsley and Nicholas Pearson at the in-house launch celebrations

  • Joanna Blythman's Blog – Morrisons’ GM Muck Up

    Author, Joanna Blythman photographed in her Edinburgh home.

Pics Alan Peebles
    • May 8, 2012 • Tags: ,

    Morrisons’ rearguard decision to allow its farmers to use GM feed looks spectacularly ill-informed and dumb, when Carrefour labels own-label meat and dairy products as GM animal feed-free, or ‘Nourri sans OGM’. If the world’s second largest retailer can guarantee customers the field-to-fork GM-free food they clearly and consistently demand, then Morrisons can too.

    Morrisons misguided policy brings it into line with Asda. As the UK base for Wal-Mart, there’s no surprise that it backs GM, since the US is home to Big Biotech, renowned for its dogged efforts to force GM down the global gullet.

    Morrisons lazily trots out the Monsanto/Cargill line that GM-free animal feed is hard to source, but as Carrefour’s policy shows, this is nonsense. Ricardo de Sousa, boss of the Brazilian Association of non-GM producers, was in the UK recently, reporting that a quarter of Brazilian soya growing land is now cultivated within the ‘soja livre’ (GM-free) scheme.

    What’s more, Brazilian growers are finding that non-GM soya cultivars are more profitable than the GM equivalent. Why? They deliver higher yields, farmers are not obliged to pay royalties, and less pesticide is needed to grow them. Indeed Brazilian supermarkets are sprouting ‘Nao Trangenico’ (No GM) aisles.

    The truth is that GM now looks like an old hat technology that never really caught on. It is being superseded by marker assisted selection (non-GM genetic mapping), which is widely expected to boost yields more effectively than GM, and without the associated risks.

    Talking of risks, Asda and Morrisons can expect their customers to desert in droves to more switched-on rivals when the inevitable food scare around GM feed hits the headlines. Twelve independent research studies on GM have now raised animal health issues with theoretical consequences for humans. Lesions in stomachs of Danish pigs fed GM is just the latest health concern.

    Ultimately, progressive retailers need to go further than giving customers a GM feed-free guarantee and actively encourage farmers to feed their animals on alternative UK-grown crops, such as high protein peas, field beans and lupin, and rear more farm animals on grass. To build up Britain’s food security, we need to cut our risky dependence on imported soya and move to sustainable home-grown alternatives.

    First published in The Grocer 5th May 2012.

  • Hilary Mantel: ‘A writer knows when they have come to the book that they were meant to be writing all along’

    8th May
    • May 8, 2012 • Tags: ,

    With such a spectacular burst of review coverage over the weekend, here’s Hilary talking about the success of Wolf Hall and introducing the book on everyone’s lips – Bring Up The Bodies…

  • Dan Lepard's Short and Sweet shortlisted for Cookery Book of the Year Award

    Short and Sweet
    • May 3, 2012 • Tags: ,

    Yet more good news on the awards front!  Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard has been shortlisted for the Guild of Food Writers Cookery Book of the Year Award. The shortlist for this category is as follows:

    SHORT AND SWEET by Dan Lepard (Fourth Estate)

    BOCCA by Jacob Kennedy (Bloomsbury)

    COUTURE CHOCOLATE  by William Curley (Jacqui Small)

    VEGGIESTAN by Sally Butcher (Pavilion)

    The winners of the awards will be announced at the Fishmongers’ Hall in London on Wednesday, 30 May.


  • Hilary Mantel on Thomas Cromwell: ‘I could make it different, I could make it come up fresh and new’

    Countdown to Bring Up The Bodies
    • May 1, 2012 • Tags: ,

    With only nine days till publication, here’s another teaser clip to whet your appetites…

    Hilary Mantel, author of the Man Booker Prize-winning ‘Wolf Hall’ and its sequel ‘Bring Up The Bodies’, talks about her main character Thomas Cromwell.