2018 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award

The Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award is an annual award given by the Tulsa Library Trust and Tulsa City-County Library. Its purpose is to give formal recognition, on behalf of the Tulsa County community, to internationally acclaimed authors who have written a distinguished body of work and made a major contribution to the field of literature and letters. The award consists of a $40,000 cash prize and an engraved crystal book.

Past award winners are Dame Hilary Mantel (2018), Richard Ford (2017), Billy Collins (2016), Rick Atkinson (2015), Ann Patchett (2014), Kazuo Ishiguro (2013), Wendell Berry (2012), Alan Furst (2011), Ian McEwan (2010), Geraldine Brooks (2009), Michael Chabon (2008), Thomas Keneally (2007), Mark Helprin (2006), John Grisham (2005), Shelby Foote (2003), Joyce Carol Oates (2002), William Kennedy (2001), William Manchester (2000), Margaret Atwood (1999), E.L. Doctorow (1998), Dr. John Hope Franklin (1997), Neil Simon (1996), David McCullough (1995), Ray Bradbury (1994), Peter Matthiessen (1993), Norman Mailer (1992), Eudora Welty (1991), John le Carré (1990), Saul Bellow (1989), Toni Morrison (1988), John Updike (1987), Larry McMurtry (1986) and Norman Cousins (1985).




Award Presentation at Black-tie Gala
Friday, Dec. 7 • 6:30 p.m.
Central Library, Fifth Street and Denver Avenue

FREE Public Presentation
Saturday, Dec. 8 • 10:30 a.m.
Central Library, Fifth Street and Denver Avenue 

Dame Hilary Mantel, a British writer whose works include drama, historical fiction, nonfiction, poetry and short stories, is the winner of the 2018 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. One of England’s greatest living novelists, Mantel is the two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize for her best-selling novels, Wolf Hall (2009), and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies (2012) – an unprecedented achievement. The Man Booker Committee praised the series as “one of the greatest achievements of modern literature.” The Royal Shakespeare Company adapted Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies for the stage to colossal critical acclaim and a BBC/Masterpiece six-part adaptation of the novels was broadcasted in 2015. Mantel currently is working on the third novel in the Thomas Cromwell trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, to be published most likely in 2019.

“A new Hilary Mantel book is an Event with a capital ‘E’ … Heads always tend to roll – figuratively and otherwise – in Mantel’s writing. Hers is a brusque and brutal world leavened with humor – humor that’s available in one shade only: black …” said Maureen Corrigan, National Public Radio.

Mantel studied law at the London School of Economics and Sheffield University. She was employed as a social worker and lived in Botswana for five years, followed by four years in Saudi Arabia, before returning to Britain in the mid-1980s. In 1987 she was awarded the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for an article about Jeddah, and she was a film critic for The Spectator from 1987 to 1991. Her novels include Eight Months on Ghazzah Street (1988), set in Jeddah; Fludd (1989), set in a mill village in the north of England and winner of the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, the Cheltenham Prize and the Southern Arts Literature Prize; A Place of Greater Safety (1992), winner of the Sunday Express Book of the Year award; A Change of Climate (1994); An Experiment in Love (1995); The Giant, O’Brien (1998); Giving Up the Ghost: A Memoir (2003), an autobiography; Learning to Talk: Short Stories (2003); Beyond Black (2005), which was shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers Prize and for the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction; and The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories (2014), winner of the 2015 Audie Award for Short Stories/Collections.

Mantel was born in Hadfield, England on July 6, 1952. She was made a Commander of the British Empire in 2006 and a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2014. She is married to Gerald McEwen.


The Tulsa Library Trust is a public charity created by private contributions to benefit Tulsa City-County Library. The Trust’s mission is to increase the library’s capacity to provide the highest quality programs and services to citizens for lifelong learning. Income generated by the Trust's endowment is used to fund projects and purchase materials that the library could not afford through its operating budget.