47

I've lost someone important. There will be no more books. Maybe the greatest novelist of my lifetime.

I've lost someone important. There will be no more books. Maybe the greatest novelist of my lifetime.

20 comments

Where do you recommend starting, with her books?

That depends a lot on you! She's written long, dense historical novels (Wolf Hall and the rest of that trilogy, and A Place of Greater Safety) as well as shorter, sly, dark modern-day ones (Eight Months on Ghazza Street, Beyond Black). All are challenging! Definitely not comfort reading, but it is so good to be in contact with a mind like hers, so sharp, penetrating, and insight that somehow goes beyond compassion. I haven't actually read them all because they are such an investment of energy. But I will.

You so eloquently describe Mantel's mind and insight, but your comment made me smile because just yesterday I posted an update on Goodreads while reading The Mirror and the Light, writing, "This shouldn't be comfort reading, but comfort reading it is for me." I'd read the two previous novels in the trilogy several times and had written several essays digging deeply into them. I've also been fascinated by Tudor and Reformation-era history since childhood...but I agree they aren't what most people would define as comfort reading!

That's interesting. I'd like to be grown-up enough for it to be comfort reading! But I'm running out of time :)

Would you care to post anything from your essays?

Thank you! If I want a shorter modern one, what's your favourite?

Also, I saw the West End adaptation of the Wolf Hall books, but not the TV ones - if you've seen it, do you recommend?