Walter Scott Prize 2020 shortlist revealed

The shortlist for the 2020 Walter Scott Prize has been announced, with six books in the running for the £25,000 award for historical fiction.

The winner is usually announced in June at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose but this has been postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

How the announcement will be made is now being reviewed.

  • The Narrow Land by Christine Dwyer Hickey
  • The Parisian by Isabella Hammad
  • To Calais, In Ordinary Time by James Meek
  • Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor
  • The Redeemed by Tim Pears
  • A Sin of Omission by Marguerite Poland

The judges said: “In times of crisis, historical fiction is both reassurance – nothing is completely new – and escape so it’s with almost medicinal pleasure that we unveil the 11th Walter Scott Prize shortlist which offers, we hope, a measure of both.

“Six books from writers as varied as they are talented. Six books to absorb. Six books to fortify. Enjoy them all.”

Those in the shortlist are The Narrow Land by Christine Dwyer Hickey; The Parisian by Isabella Hammad; To Calais, In Ordinary Time by James Meek; Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor; The Redeemed by Tim Pears, and A Sin of Omission by Marguerite Poland.

Previous winners include Hilary Mantel, Andrea Levy, Sebastian Barry, Tan Twan Eng, Robert Harris, John Spurling, Simon Mawer, Benjamin Myers and Robin Robertson.

The winner receives £25,000 and each shortlisted author will receive £1,500.

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