After looking over the writer’s featured on Paris Review, I was unsure about which author to select. I decided to choose someone that I had never heard of before in order to increase my base knowledge. Hilary Mantel was a great choice! It was especially unique to learn about how she fell into the category of historical fiction because she believed that she had missed her chance to be a historian. I instantly connected with this feeling because there have been many decisions in my life where I had to pick one path over another. I often question how my life would be different if I had chosen the other path. It was a great realization to discover that anything is attainable at any age period of life!
Furthermore, Mantel ‘s childhood expressed a lot about her personality. The interview stated that many of her books were based off her past. She grew up in a mill town east of Manchester in a working-class Irish Catholic family and attended the University of Sheffield. This was interesting to read about because Mantel’s past has greatly influenced her literary works. I was extremely interested by this fact because it helped express why Mantel chose to write how and what she did. I believe that perceptions about life translate directly into one’s writings.
Another feature of Mantel’s writing that grasped my attention was how she became interested in historical writing. It was as if the genre was calling her name. She was dissatisfied with the current literature available and felt that she could make a difference. This is an impeccable quality of Mantel because she was unsatisfied with a specific aspect and did not give up on it. Instead, she made an enormous impact and revolutionized the discipline. Mantel was a strong women who stood for what she believed in. While living in Botswana, she constantly struggled with illness and eventually diagnosed herself with a severe form of endometriosis. After this, Mantel wrote numerous works about her personal physical experiences and the female body in general. This was incredible! A woman had diagnosed herself and then helped others overcome this own problems. Hilary Mantel was a great selection to read about!