Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies are being adapted for the stage by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Adapting the 500 page books into two-and-a-half-hour plays has been challenging but the producers are determined to retain as much of Ms. Mantel’s prose as possible, as well as to prove that “theater can bring the books to memorable life.” The plays are in preview now, although most seats are already sold out. The BBC is also planning to film a mini-series of the novels this year. Read more about the production in this NYT article.
Hilary Mantel was awarded the Booker Prize yesterday for Bring up the Bodies. She won her first prize in 2009 for Wolf Hall and this is the first time an author has been recognized for a sequel. She also is the only author to win twice in a such a short period. The novels are historical fiction based on the life of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s chief minister.
The six finalists for the Man Booker Prize (limited to English language books and authors from the Commonwealth, Ireland, or Zimbabwe) were announced this week. Hilary Mantel won three years ago and there’s been some speculation that she’s favored to win again for “Bring up the Bodies”. The rest of the list:
Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home (And Other Stories)
Alison Moore, The Lighthouse
Will Self, Umbrella
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis -Shira S.
The Finkler Question, a comic novel about being Jewish, won the Booker Prize. British author and columnist Howard Jacobson prevailed against more favored writers. Sir Andrew Motion, head of the judging committee, comments ‘The Finkler Question’ is a marvellous book: very funny, of course, but also very clever, very sad and very subtle.”‘