Maggie O'Farrell's Shakespearean 'Hamnet' wins Women's Prize
LONDON Maggie OFarrell won the Womens Prize for Fiction on Wednesday for Hamnet, a novel that explores the lives of William Shakespeares often-maligned wife and lost son. OFarrells novel beat finalists including Hilary Mantels Tudor saga The Mirror and the Light and Bernardine Evaristos Booker Prize winner Girl, Woman, Other to the 30,000-pound ($39,000) award. The Northern Ireland-born O'Farrell said she had long been fascinated by Hamnet Shakespeare, who died aged 11 in 1596 likely from the plague. Shakespeare himself is never mentioned by name in Hamnet, which centers on his children and wife Anne Hathaway, called Agnes in the book. OFarrell said Hathaway has been portrayed as an illiterate strumpet because she was uneducated and eight years older than Shakespeare.