The publishing and screen worlds have paid tribute to author Hilary Mantel, who died on Thursday (September 22) at the age of 70.
Peter Kosminsky, who directed the BBC adaptation of Mantel’s novel “Wolf Hall,” told Variety: “A great light has gone out. The word ‘cool’ is thrown around too easily these days, but no one could argue that it’s an appropriate epithet for Dame Hilary Mantel. If you look at the scale of her accomplishments, the impact she’s had, the breadth of her knowledge and reading…she’s someone people went to for thoughts and opinions on a variety of different novels and non-fiction works. People recognized her for the massive intellect that she was hers. It’s hard to imagine a world without her.”
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Colin Callender, producer of “Wolf Hall”, added: “Hilary was a brilliant iconoclast and a compelling storyteller. With ‘Wolf Hall’ she reinvented the traditional historical novel. She made the story personal and with her use of the present tense in the ‘Wolf Hall’ trilogy, the reader is no longer just a witness looking back at events – the reader becomes involved as a player in the drama as that develops You are in the room with the characters, not bringing the perspective of a historical retrospective, but with the immediacy of being in the moment. We honor that by bringing his work to the screen. It was a great privilege to work with her.”
BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore also paid tribute, telling Variety: “Dame Hilary Mantel’s remarkable talent and the incredible impact she had on literature and the arts will never be forgotten. Whether on television with ‘Wolf Hall’ or on the radio with her novels and The Reith Lectures, it was always a privilege to work with her. Our thoughts are with her loved ones at this incredibly sad time.”
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The publishing world has also paid its respects to the author, who wrote twelve novels in her career as well as a memoir and numerous articles and short stories. Jonny Geller, chief executive of the Curtis Brown Group, wrote: “A deep and profound loss for readers and the publishing community. Few authors had such variety and control of her subjects. She will be read and cherished for many years to come.”
JK Rowling simply tweeted: “We have lost a genius,” while “Chocolat” author Joanne Harris wrote: “What a sad news and what a loss to the literary world.”
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