Release: Oct. 31, 2016
GAMBIER, Ohio — Hilary Mantel, author of the best-selling historical fiction novel “Wolf Hall,” will headline this year’s Kenyon Review Literary Festival, held Nov. 4-5.
Mantel is this year’s recipient of the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, chosen by Kenyon Review editors in conjunction with the Kenyon Review Board of Trustees. The literary festival culminates in her keynote lecture Saturday, Nov. 5, at 8 p.m. in Rosse Hall, 105 College Drive.
“She writes beautifully in a genre that we hadn’t yet recognized, and Mantel’s literary historical fiction is an invitation for a rich community-wide read,” said Anna Duke Reach, director of programs for the Kenyon Review.
“Wolf Hall” is the first novel in an ambitious trilogy that details Henry VIII’s court from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell, one of Henry’s closest advisors. Mantel has written nine novels prior to this trilogy, as well as a memoir and two books of short stories. She was awarded the Man Booker Prize for both “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies,” the second book in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, and she also won a Walter Scott Prize. In 2014, she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her service to literature.
Mantel will be presented with her award at the Kenyon Review Awards Gala on Thursday, Nov. 3, in New York City. Previous winners of the award include Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates and Kenyon graduate E.L. Doctorow. Mantel will be honored alongside Andrea Wulf, the inaugural winner of the James Wright Award for Nature Writing, an award created this year by Kenyon Review editor David Lynn and National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Professor of English Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky in association with the Nature Conservancy.
“The new award comes out of an ongoing effort to broaden the traditional categories of creative writing,” Lynn said. “I truly believe that issues relating to the grave challenges facing the natural world will be the primary focus of artists — and audiences — in coming generations.”
All events are free and open to the public on Kenyon’s campus.
The festival is supported by Ariel Corporation, First-Knox National Bank, The Peoples Bank, Printing Arts Press, Mount Vernon News, Ohio Arts Council, Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, Denham Sutcliffe Memorial Lecture Series, Kenyon College English Department, Kenyon College History Department, Kenyon College Bookstore and Paragraphs Bookstore.