novelist, born in Derbyshire, and educated at the London School of Economics and Sheffield University. Her experiences of living in Botswana and Saudi Arabia produced her essay ‘Last Months in Al Hamra’, which won the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize in 1987, and the finely atmospheric psychological thriller, Eight Months on Ghazzah Street (1988). During her years abroad Mantel wrote two other novels: Every Day is Mother's Day (1985) and its sequel, Vacant Possession (1986). Fludd (1989), a comedy set in the north of England, uses motifs and memories from the author's Catholic childhood and explores the meanings of alchemy. A Place of Greater Safety (1992) is a historical novel set in the French Revolution. Mantel's characteristic blend of complex psychological drama and terse comedy are evident in A Change of Climate (1994), depicting the return of two former missionaries in southern Africa to Norfolk, where an old secret surfaces. Beyond Black (2005) follows the dark adventures through suburban England of medium Alison and her companion Colette. Giving Up the Ghost (2003) is a memoir vividly describing childhood trauma and adult ill health.