Can she make it a hat-trick? Hilary Mantel favourite to take Women's Prize for Fiction


Hilary Mantel could complete her historic trio of literary prizes tonight when the winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction is announced.

The novelist, who has already scooped the Booker and Costa Book Award for her historical epic Bring Up The Bodies, would be the first person to win all three.

She leads the shortlist of six for the prize with her book, which is the second part of her planned trilogy about the life of King Henry VIII's adviser Thomas Cromwell.

Zadie Smith's London-set NW and US writer Barbara Kingsolver's eighth novel Flight Behaviour are also shortlisted for the £30,000 award, which was formerly known as the Orange Prize.

The other writers shortlisted are British author Kate Atkinson for Life After Life and US authors AM Homes for May We Be Forgiven and Maria Semple for Where'd You Go, Bernadette.

Bookmaker William Hill made Mantel the 7/4 favourite, followed by Smith and Homes who are both 4/1.

The winner of the prize, now in its 18th year, is announced tonight at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

It was announced earlier this week that the prize, which has been privately sponsored this year, will be sponsored by drinks firm Baileys for three years from next year.

The shortlist:

Kate Atkinson - Life After Life

A.M Homes - May We Be Forgiven

Barbara Kingsolver - Flight Behaviour

Hilary Mantel - Bring Up The Bodies

Maria Semple - Where'd You Go

Zadie Smith - NW