A memoir of my former self

20.99

As well as her celebrated career as a novelist, Hilary Mantel long contributed to newspapers and journals, unspooling stories from her own life and illuminating the world as she found it. This strand of her writing was an integral part of how she thought of herself. ‘A Memoir of My Former Self’ collects the finest of this writing over four decades. Mantel’s subjects are wide-ranging. She discusses nationalism and her own sense of belonging; our dream life flopping into our conscious life; the mythic legacy of Princess Diana; the many themes that feed into her novels – revolutionary France, psychics, Tudor England – and other novelists, from Jane Austen to V.S. Naipaul. She writes about her father and the man who replaced him; she writes fiercely and heartbreakingly about the battles with her health she endured as a young woman, and the stifling years she found herself living in Saudi Arabia.

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Description

‘A guide to the mind of one of the great English novelists of the last half-century’ Guardian

‘Like hearing the voice of an old friend’ Observer

‘Extraordinary . . . a quality of timelessness and prescience’ New Statesman, Book of the Year

‘Magical . . . Here we meet not just Mantel the Cromwell-catcher, but Mantel the quill-sharp critic of contemporary life’ The Times, Book of the Year

As well as her celebrated career as a novelist, Hilary Mantel long contributed to newspapers and journals, unspooling stories from her own life and illuminating the world as she found it. This strand of her writing was an integral part of how she thought of herself. ‘Ink is a generative fluid,’ she explains. ‘If you don’t mean your words to breed consequences, don’t write at all.’ A Memoir of My Former Self collects the finest of this writing over four decades.

Mantel’s subjects are wide-ranging. She discusses nationalism and her own sense of belonging; our dream life flopping into our conscious life; the mythic legacy of Princess Diana; the many themes that feed into her novels – revolutionary France, psychics, Tudor England – and other novelists, from Jane Austen to V. S. Naipaul. She writes about her father and the man who replaced him; she writes fiercely and heartbreakingly about the battles with her health she endured as a young woman, and the stifling years she found herself living in Saudi Arabia. Here, too, is a selection of her film reviews – from When Harry Met Sally to RoboCop – and, published for the first time, her stunning Reith Lectures, which explore the process of art bringing history and the dead back to life.

From her unique childhood to her all-consuming fascination with Thomas Cromwell that grew into the Wolf Hall Trilogy, A Memoir of My Former Self reveals the shape of Hilary Mantel’s life in her own dazzling words, ‘messages from people I used to be.’ Compelling, often very funny, always luminous, it is essential reading from one of our greatest writers.

‘A smart, deft, meticulous, thoughtful writer, with such a grasp of the dark and spidery corners of human nature’ Margaret Atwood

‘Mantel was a queen of literature . . . her reign was long, varied and uncontested’ Maggie O’Farrell

Additional information

Weight 0.52 kg
Dimensions 23.2 × 15.2 × 3.2 cm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Paperback

Pages

400

Language

English

Edition
Dewey

828.9209 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K

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