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Stop sending Hilary Mantel your ideas for historical novels—she’s pivoting to plays.

Emily Temple

August 17, 2020, 10:37am

Listen, guys: we may all love Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell series—lord knows the Booker Prize judges do—but Mantel has had enough of the genre for now (and after almost 2000 pages, who could blame her?). So stop bugging her about it, okay?

“I haven’t got another big historical novel in view,” Mantel told viewers at the online Edinburgh international books festival this weekend. “I think that’s quite important to say, so I hope people will stop writing to me with suggestions. It’s lovely that people have the appetite for it but considering the pace at which I proceed, I would like some life before it’s too late.”

“I will frankly say that the last three, four years particularly have been hard,” she told Charlotte Higgins, The Guardian’s chief culture writer. “I haven’t really had any break or downtime in between.”

Instead of more historical doorstoppers, Mantel says she plans to work on plays and short stories, ideas for which she’s been collecting while working on the Cromwell novels (and related adaptations). “It may be that none of them will work out,” she said. “I don’t have a great strike rate with short stories. I often find they fall over and I have to abandon them, but I’d like to see if there’s any potential there.”

All things considered, I think it’s safe to say there’s potential.

[via The Guardian]

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