‘It’s a horrible shock to learn of Hilary Mantel’s death, and our first and most heartfelt thoughts are with her husband, Gerald McEwen. She was much loved by everyone here at the Booker, a prize she judged long before she was shortlisted for Beyond Black and won with the first two volumes of her Wolf Hall trilogy (the last of which was also nominated).
‘She was indefatigably generous towards other writers. Her incisive praise lives on many a book jacket, drawing readers towards work they might not otherwise have met.
‘In her own work she was surrounded by a staunch team of supporters and collaborators – Gerald, her agent Bill Hamilton, her editor Nicholas Pearson – without whom, it was clear, her books could not exist. And she was moving, with her usual intellectual voraciousness, into a new realm, having spent the best of two decades with Thomas Cromwell.
‘It’s hard to take in the fact that we won’t hear more from her brilliant mind: its mixture of mischief, imagination, scholarship and literary skill is truly without peer – and its influence immeasurable.’
Gaby Wood, Director of the Booker Prize Foundation