We are proud and thrilled to announce that Hilary Mantel’s ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ has been shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize. Mantel won the prize in 2009 for the first in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, ‘Wolf Hall’, with the prize’s chair, James Naughtie, commenting,
‘Hilary Mantel has given us a thoroughly modern novel set in the 16th century. ‘Wolf Hall’ has a vast narrative sweep that gleams on every page with luminous and mesmerising detail.’
I’m dumbstruck by the news that Communion Town has been longlisted for the Man Booker prize. What can you say about such an improbable stroke of good fortune for a first novel, other than repeating words like ‘thrilled’, ‘incredulous’, ‘bamboozled’ and ‘er… what?’ That’s what I’ve been doing since they announced the list. Getting a first book published at all feels like hitting the jackpot, so also catching the eyes of judges in a competition like the Booker is ridiculous, embarrassing bounty – more than any first-time writer could sensibly hope for.