“There are other people who like me, have had the roots of their personality torn up. You need to find yourself, in the maze of social expectation, the thickets of memory; just which bits of you are left intact? I have been so mauled by medical procedures, so sabotaged and made over, so thin and so fat, that sometimes I feel that each morning it is necessary to write myself into being- even if the writing is aimless doodling that no one will ever read, or the diary that no one can see till I’m dead. When you have committed enough words to paper, you feel you have a spine stiff enough to stand up in the wind. But when you stop writing you find that is all you are– a spine, a row of rattling vertebrae, dried out like a old quill pen.” Hilary Mantel (excerpt from her 2003 memoir Giving up the Ghost)
Mantel is the first woman to receive the Booker award twice.