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Hilary Mantel and E. L. James triumph at National Book Awards

5th December 2012

Two of the year's most successful authors have been honoured at the National Book Awards, with Man Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel scooping another gong and E. L. James honoured for her record-breaking Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

Mantel triumphed in the Author of the Year category for Bring Up the Bodies, her critically acclaimed follow-up to Wolf Hall that helped her become the first woman to win the Booker Prize twice.

James, whose three erotic fiction novels were met with little critical praise yet still managed to become three of the bestselling books of the year, was victorious in the Popular Fiction Book of the Year category for the first instalment in the trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey.

There was also success for Rachel Joyce, who scooped the New Writer of the Year award for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, which was shortlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and Desmond Elliott Prize this year, narrowly missing out on both occasions.

Other winners on the night included Lee Child, who picked up the Crime Book of the Year award for A Wanted Man, and Miranda Hart, whose autobiography Is It Just Me? scooped the title Non-fiction Book of the Year.

All the successful authors are now in contention to win the overall National Book of the Year award, the winner of which will be determined by public vote and revealed on December 26th.

Dame Mary Perkins, founder of prize sponsor Specsavers, described the National Book Awards as 'the Oscars of the literary world' and praised the 'incredible talent' present among the category winners.

'I'd like to congratulate all the winning authors and wish them the best of luck in scooping the Specsavers National Book of the Year title,' she said.

Amanda Ross, founder of Cactus TV, which produces the prize-giving ceremony, added: 'These awards rightly celebrate the books people are actually buying, reading and loving. The shortlist serves as the perfect Christmas gift guide.'

The winner of the overall National Book of the Year title will follow in the footsteps of Caitlin Moran, who scooped the award in 2011 with How to be a Woman.

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