Hilary Mantel CBE
Honorary Doctorate - 2009
Hilary Mantel, who has recently made the headlines by winning one of fiction’s most prestigious prizes, is a visiting professor at Sheffield Hallam University.
She has been associated with Sheffield Hallam’s MA Writing course for the past six years and won the Man Booker Prize for her historical novel Wolf Hall – which judges called ‘an extraordinary piece of story-telling'.
She visits the University regularly and her masterclasses are hugely successful and popular among the programme’s aspiring novelists.
Hilary was born in Hadfield, Derbyshire, and currently lives in Woking, Surrey. She studied Law at the London School of Economics and later at 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 2006 novel Beyond Black was shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writers Prize and the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction.
Hilary was awarded a CBE in 2006.