Six books in running for £25,000 historical fiction award

The English Patient author Michael Ondaatje is among six writers in the running for the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction.

Ondaatje  has been selected for Warlight, his 2018 novel set in bomb-damaged London in 1945.

The shortlist published on Tuesday includes Peter Carey’s A Long Way From Home and After the Party by Cressida Connolly.

  • Warlight - Michael Ondaatje
  • The Western Wind - Samantha Harvey
  • A Long Way From Home - Peter Carey
  • After the Party - Cressida Connolly
  • Now We Shall Be Entirely Free - Andrew Miller
  • The Long Take - Robin Robertson

Completing the list is The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey, Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller and The Long Take by Robin Robertson.

The prize, now in its 10th year, is awarded to books published in the previous year in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth, and set mostly in the past.

Previous winners have included Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (2010) and An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris (2014).

After the Party book cover
Shortlisted authors each receive £1,000 (StonehillSalt PR/PA)

The judging panel is lead by Alistair Moffat and includes broadcasters Kirsty Wark and James Naughtie.

The panel said: “Over the 10 years of our prize, we have been able to throw a spotlight onto an amazing variety of books and historical periods.

“This year is no exception, with a shortlist of dazzling diversity.

“What a privilege it is, to go on a journey through the fictional centuries, pick up gems that sparkle at us, and present them for new readers to discover.”

The winner will be announced at the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival on June 15.

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