Shortlist revealed for 2015 Walter Scott Prize

The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction – which, just over a month ago, made its longlist public for the first time – has unveiled the shortlist for its 2015 award. Those initial fifteen titles have been cut back to seven: The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis; The Lie by Helen Dunmore; Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre; In the Wolf’s Mouth by Adam Foulds; Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut; A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie; and The Ten Thousand Things by John Spurling.

The prize is open to books written in English and first published in the UK and Ireland in the previous calendar year, which are set for more than half of their duration at least sixty years before their publication, in honour of the subtitle of Walter Scott’s debut novel, Waverley; Or, ‘Tis Sixty Years Since.

Chair of Judges Alistair Moffat says of the shortlist:

We had a record number of entries, our most extensive longlist and, as a result, our longest shortlist since the first Walter Scott Prize in 2010.  This list of seven fantastic novels represents the diversity and breadth of style that the genre of historical fiction now encompasses – from the poetic to the experimental, and from satire to adventure, writing set in the past can challenge, excite and innovate in a hundred different ways.

Our 2015 shortlist could easily have been longer, but we hope we have represented the vibrancy of historical writing published in this last year, as well as a broad range of global settings from colonial India to fourteenth century China, Europe during the two world wars, and seventeenth century England.

Moffat is joined on the judging panel by Elizabeth Laird, Louise Richardson, Jonathan Tweedie, Kirsty Wark and the Duchess of Buccleuch, a co-sponsor of the prize featured on Scott’s family tree. The winner is awarded £25,000 (with the remaining shortlisted authors receiving £1,000 each) and will be revealed on 13 June as part of the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival.

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