Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up The Bodies, won the Man Booker prize in 2009 and 2012. Her newest book is the short story collection, The Assassination Of Margaret Thatcher.
From twenty questions with the author at The Times Literary Supplement:
What author or book do you think is most underrated? And why?Mantel's Wolf Hall made Ester Bloom's top ten books for fans of the television series House of Cards, Rachel Cantor's list of the ten worst jobs in books, Kathryn Williams's reading list on pride, the Barnes & Noble Review's list of books on baby-watching in Great Britain, Julie Buntin's top ten list of literary kids with deadbeat and/or absent dads, Hermione Norris's 6 best books list, John Mullan's list of ten of the best cardinals in literature, the Barnes & Noble Review's list of five books on dangerous minds and Lev Grossman's list of the top ten fiction books of 2009, and is one of Geraldine Brooks's favorite works of historical fiction; Matt Beynon Rees called it "[s]imply the best historical novel for many, many years."
Among contemporaries, Ann Wroe (Pilate, Perkin, Orpheus, Six Facets of Light and others.) She is a stylist with a wide-ranging and subtle mind. She’s a genius, I believe, because she lights up every subject she touches. Why underrated? She is personally modest, and her work doesn’t fit into a category. She is too original for the market.
What author or book do you think is most overrated? And why?
Dickens. The sentimentality, the self-indulgence, the vast oozing self-satisfaction, the...[read on]