Giving Up the Ghost: A Memoir

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Picador, Sep 1, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages

New York Times bestselling author Hilary Mantel, two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize, is one of the world’s most accomplished and acclaimed fiction writers. Giving Up the Ghost, is her dazzling memoir of a career blighted by physical pain in which her singular imagination supplied compensation for the life her body was denied.

Selected by the New York Times as one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years

“The story of my own childhood is a complicated sentence that I am always trying to finish, to finish and put behind me.”

In postwar rural England, Hilary Mantel grew up convinced that the most extraordinary feats were within her grasp. But at nineteen, she became ill. Through years of misdiagnosis, she suffered patronizing psychiatric treatment and destructive surgery that left her without hope of children.

Beset by pain and sadness, she decided to “write herself into being”—one novel after another. This wry and visceral memoir will certainly bring new converts to Mantel’s dark genius.

“Mesmerizing.”—The New York Times

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cariola - LibraryThing

Mantel's memoir focuses on three main aspects of her life: her dysfunctional family, her relationship to Catholicism, and her ongoing health issues. She, her parents, and her two younger brothers ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

This brief but moving memoir is difficult to write about, because one starts thinking Mantel is writing about her experiences with the supernatural, but its concluding pages are very personal. It took courage to write this, and considerable effort . Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Hilary Mantel is the bestselling author of many novels including Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Bring Up the Bodies, Book Two of the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy, was also awarded the Man Booker Prize and the Costa Book Award. She is also the author of A Change of Climate, A Place of Greater Safety, Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, An Experiment in Love, The Giant, O'Brien, Fludd, Beyond Black, Every Day Is Mother's Day, and Vacant Possession. She has also written a memoir, Giving Up the Ghost. Mantel was the winner of the Hawthornden Prize, and her reviews and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and the London Review of Books. She lives in England with her husband.

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