Shortlist announced for Walter Scott historical fiction prize

The shortlist of four books for the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize For Historical Fiction has been announced, the BBC reports.

According to the report, judges have put forward Rose Nicolson by Andrew Greig, News Of The Dead by James Robertson, Fortune by Amanda Smyth, and The Magician by Colm Toibin.

The winner of will be revealed at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose on 17 June.

The prize was first awarded in 2010 and previous winners include Hilary Mantel, Sebastian Barry and Robert Harris.

Announcing the shortlist, the judges said debate at their meetings over the shortlist had been lively and hard choices were made.

Settings for this year’s shortlist include the riven and violent Scotland of the 1570s, a fictitious Highland glen through three different eras, the Caribbean oil rush of the 1920s, and 20th Century Europe seen through the life of writer Thomas Mann.

The prize is sponsored by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and honours Edinburgh-born novelist and poet Scott, who wrote Ivanhoe and Waverley. He died in Abbotsford, near Melrose, in 1832.

With a winner’s cheque of £25,000, and each shortlisted author receiving £1,500, the Walter Scott Prize is one of Scotland’s richest fiction awards.

The judging panel members were Katie Grant, Elizabeth Buccleuch, James Holloway, Elizabeth Laird, James Naughtie and Kirsty Wark.

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