Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Giving Up the Ghost

Giving Up the Ghost

A Memoir

Picador Modern Classics

Hilary Mantel

Picador Modern Classics

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Hardcover

Beautifully repackaged as part of the Picador Modern Classics Series, this special edition is small enough to fit in your pocket and bold enough to stand out on your bookshelf.

Hilary Mantel, two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize, is one of the world’s most accomplished and acclaimed fiction writers. Her only work of nonfiction, Giving Up the Ghost, is a dazzling memoir of a career blighted by physical pain in which her singular imagination supplied compensation for the life her body was denied.

"The story of my own childhood is a complicated sentence that I am always trying to finish, to finish and put behind me."

In postwar rural England, Hilary Mantel grew up convinced that the most extraordinary feats were within her grasp. But at nineteen, she became ill. Through years of misdiagnosis, she suffered patronizing psychiatric treatment and destructive surgery that left her without hope of children. Beset by pain and sadness, she decided to "write herself into being." This wry and visceral memoir will certainly bring new converts to Mantel’s dark genius.

"Dazzlingly written...A highly unorthodox account of what is essentially unsayable about the inward, uncharted life."--Joyce Carol Oates

EXCERPT

GIVING UP THE GHOSTIt is a Saturday, late July 2000; we are in Reepham, Norfolk, at Owl Cottage. There's something we have to do today, but we are trying to postpone it. We need to go across the road to see Mr. Ewing; we need to ask...

Reviews

Praise for Giving Up the Ghost

“Dazzlingly written...a highly unorthodox account of what is essentially unsayable about the inward uncharted life.” —Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books

"These literary gems are the perfect stocking-stuffer size for the serious reader on your list; you’ll look smart wrapping up one or all of them." --USA Today

“The matter is bitter, but Mantel's angular wit is as unquenchable as her anger; the reading experience is reliably exhilarating because of the sheer excellence of the writing.” —New York Times Book Review

“Blazing insights [and] poetic discourses that rattle the soul...Mantel doesn't simply hit close to home, she knocks at our closets and opens our doors.” —The Boston Globe

“Mantel's talents are stronger than her misfortunes...[this book comes] from the mind of a fine author, whose body has imposed its own terrible penances.” —The Washington Post

Giving Up the Ghost combines the urgency and observation that steer a memoir into the heart of a reader's own experience. I have been touched and also enthralled by this fine book.” —Carol Shields, author of The Stone Diaries and Unless

“A stunning evocation of an ill-fitting childhood and a womanhood blighted by medical ineptitude. Hilary Mantel's frank and beautiful memoir is impossible to put down and impossible to forget.” —Clare Boylan, author of Beloved Stranger

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Hilary Mantel

HILARY MANTEL is the author of fourteen books, including the bestselling novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, both winners of the Man Booker Prize (in 2009 and 2012). In the 2014 Birthday Honors, she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to literature. She counts the David Cohen Prize, the Costa Book of the Year, the Costa Novel Award, the Walter Scott Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award among her honors. She lives on the Devon coast with her husband and is at work on the third and final installment of the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy.

Hilary Mantel

John Haynes

Read a New York Times interview