Hilary Mantel was born in Glossop, Derbyshire, England on 6 July 1952. She studied Law at the London School of Economics and Sheffield University. She was employed as a social worker, and lived in Botswana for five years, followed by four years in Saudi Arabia, before returning to Britain in the mid-1980s. In 1987 she was awarded the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for an article about Jeddah, and she was film critic for The Spectator from 1987 to 1991.
Her novels include Eight Months on Ghazzah Street (1988), set in Jeddah; Fludd (1989), set in a mill village in the north of England and winner of the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, the Cheltenham Prize and the Southern Arts Literature Prize; A Place of Greater Safety (1992), an epic account of the events of the French revolution that won the Sunday Express Book of the Year award; A Change of Climate (1994), the story of a missionary couple whose lives are torn apart by the loss of their child; and An Experiment in Love (1995), about the events in the lives of three schoolfriends from the north of England who arrive at London University in 1970, winner of the 1996 Hawthornden Prize.
Her novel The Giant, O'Brien (1998) tells the story of Charles O'Brien who leaves his home in Ireland to make his fortune as a sideshow attraction in London. Giving Up the Ghost: A Memoir (2003), is an autobiography in fiction and non-fiction, taking the reader from early childhood through to the discoveries in adulthood that led her to writing; and Learning to Talk: Short Stories (2003).
Hilary Mantel's novel Beyond Black (2005) tells the story of Alison, a Home Counties psychic, and her assistant, Colette. It was shortlisted for a 2006 Commonwealth Writers Prize and for the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction.
In 2006, Hilary Mantel was awarded a CBE. Her novel, Wolf Hall (2009), was the winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the Walter Scott Prize andwas shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Novel Award and 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction.
A sequel to Wolf Hall, entitled Bring Up the Bodies, was published in 2012 and won the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. She is currently working on the third novel of the series.
1987 Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize
1990 Southern Arts Literature Prize Fludd
1990 The Cheltenham Prize Fludd
1990 Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize Fludd
1992 Sunday Express Book of the Year A Place of Greater Safety
1996 Hawthornden Prize An Experiment in Love
2006 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia Region, Best Book) (shortlist) Beyond Black
2006 Orange Prize for Fiction (shortlist) Beyond Black
2006 Yorkshire Post Book Award (Book of the Year) Beyond Black
2009 Man Booker Prize Wolf Hall
2012 Man Booker Prize Bringing up the Bodies