Publication Date: October 24, 2023
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A posthumous collection of journalism and other writings by Hilary Mantel, revealing in spectacular breadth the beloved writer’s cutting wit and singular voice on books, films, the royals, and her own life.
“Fiction isn’t made by scraping the bones of topicality for the last shreds and sinews, to be processed into mechanically recovered prose. Like journalism, it deals in ideas as well as facts, but also in metaphors, symbols and myths. It multiplies ambiguity. It’s about the particular, which suggests the general: about inner meaning, seen with the inner eye, always glimpsed, always vanishing, always more or less baffling, and scuffled on to the page hesitantly, furtively, transgressively, by night and with the wrong hand.”
Hilary Mantel is widely known as the bestselling, two-time Booker Prize-winning author of the Wolf Hall trilogy, a critically acclaimed, historical fiction series that tells the captivating tale of Thomas Cromwell in 1500s England. But Mantel’s writing didn't only explore the past—far from it.
Featuring pieces from the 1980s to the present, A Memoir of My Former Self invites readers into the mind and world of Hilary Mantel, sharply observed and beautifully rendered. With a combination of playful humor and elegant delivery, Mantel reveals what was going through her head in the moments before Donald Trump was elected in 2016, and remembers what it was like the day that she first met her stepfather.
Ever piercing and poignant, A Memoir of My Former Self takes us through Mantel’s childhood, the joys of stationery, women’s rights, Goodfellas, Marie Antoinette, and the practice of writing—showing how a brilliant mind can make any topic, however large or small, endlessly riveting.
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