“Memoir’s not an easy form. It’s not for beginners, which is unfortunate, as it is where many people do begin. It’s hard for beginners to accept that unmediated truth often sounds unlikely and unconvincing. If other people are to care about your life, art must intervene. The writer has to negotiate with her memories, and with her reader, and find a way, without interrupting the flow, to caution that this cannot be a true record: this is a version, seen from a single viewpoint. But she has to make it as true as she can. Writing a memoir is a process of facing yourself, so you must do it when you are ready.”
– Taken from The New York Review of Books, May 19th 2013
Mantel is the author of the acclaimed novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, the first two parts of a trilogy focused on the rise and fall of Sir Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII (both novels won the Man Booker Award). Mantel has a wide interest when it comes to reading, citing Kate Atkinson’s new novel Life After Life, the psychological works of Alice Miller, and the book Religion and the Decline of Magic as texts she is currently reading or rereading and Shakespeare’s plays as having influenced her most. Overall, she prefers action and fighting over sentiment, sensibility, and love. On a very British note, she has tons of books on cricket and its history on her shelves, being fascinated by games played long before the First World War.
– Eleni Anastasiou