At William Hill, Hilary Mantel was thought to be the Man Booker Prize frontrunner for her novel of Tudor England, Wolf Hall, (harphercollins) and she is, indeed, the winner. According to Booker Chairman James Naughtie, “‘[Wolf Hall] probes the mysteries of power by examining and describing the meticulous dealings in Henry VIII’s court, revealing in thrilling prose how politics and history is made by men and women.”
She will receive a check for £50,000 ($80,000) and all short-listed authors receive a check for £2,500 ($3,979) plus a designer-bound edition of their book. Along with the prize money and prestige comes that “Booker Prize Winner” stamp which greatly increases sales and recognition for the winning author. Previous winning titles include The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (2008), The Sea by John Banville (2005) and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (2000). For a complete list of previous winners, read the archive at www.manbookerprize.com.
This year’s panel of judges for the Man Booker Prize was chaired by broadcaster / documentarian / author James Naughtie who previously chaired the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction judging panel. Also judging were Lucasta Miller, author of The Bronte Myth and critic for the Guardian Review; Professor John Mullan of the University College London, author of Anonymity, A Secret History of Engligh Literature and judge for the 2008 Best of the Booker Prize; Sue Perkins, comedian, broadcaster, scriptwriter and winner of last year’s BBC Maestro competition; and Michael Prodger, literary journalist, literary editor of The Sunday Telegraph, and judge for the 2006 BBC FOUR Samuel Johnson Prize. Read an interview with Lucasta Miller about how she prepared for the judging at BBC News.