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By prospect   April 2006

The Hilary Mantel prize There are now endless ways of assessing the status of British novelists—the Booker prize, the Whitbread, the Richard and Judy test and so on. But what about the writers who tend to be overlooked in this credit system? One of the most prominent to have slipped through the net is Hilary Mantel. She has taken none of the major prizes, but her novel Beyond Black, described by AS Byatt as “a terrible and swirling horror-comedy,” was published to rave reviews last year. Moreover, Mantel appears to be particularly esteemed by her fellow writers. A Prospect research…

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