Hilary Mantel has become the first author to win the Man Booker Prize and the Costa Book Award in the same year. There had been pleas for her to forego the prize in favor of lesser-known authors, as her novel Bring Up the Bodies had already had huge recognition. But Mantel was defiant as she picked up the award. "I'm not going to apologize," she said. "Thank you to the judges for not letting anyone else tell them how to do to their jobs. I was writing for many years and either I was not among the prizes or I was a perpetual runner-up. Things have changed in a big way. I feel my luck has changed but it's not true. What's changed is what I'm working on." "We couldn't allow the number of times she had been lauded to
affect our decision," said Jenni Murray, the chair of the judges. "She simply stood head and shoulders—more than head and shoulders—above the rest; she stood on stilts."