Published Jan 2010
Giving up the Ghost is award-winning novelist Hilary Mantel’s wry, shocking and beautifully written autobiography of childhood, ghosts, illness and family. It opens in 1995. Mantel describes the death of her stepfather, a death which leaves her deeply troubled by the unresolved events of childhood. She takes the reader into the muffled consciousness of her early childhood, culminating with the birth of a younger brother. Mantel then moves to a haunted house and mysteriously gains a stepfather. After teenage perplexities, the certain sanctuary of her convent school, she escapes to university and gets married. She reveals how, through medical misunderstandings and neglect, she came to be childless, and how the ghosts of the unborn, like chances missed or pages unturned, have come to haunt her life as a writer.