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Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017 The Walter Scott Prize 2017

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Show this month's The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017 Books
Show All The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017 Books


The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017 winner announced! Days Without End by Sebastian Barry_WSP Sebastian Barry has won the eighth £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction for his epic American novel Days Without End. Barry’s previous novel On Canaan’s Side was a winner in 2012, and he returned to the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland to receive his Prize from the Duke of Buccleuch on 17 June 2017. Sebastian Barry said on winning the Prize: “It’s difficult to itemise my simple childish joy at receiving this prize; that the judges did all this work to make a 61 year old man feel 12 again." The other books that were shortlisted for the award are: A Country Road, A Tree by Jo BakerThe Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte HobsonThe Good People by Hannah KentGolden Hill by Francis SpuffordMothering Sunday by Graham SwiftThe Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain Walter Scott Prize Shortlist 2017

The Judges commented:

“We have a longer shortlist than usual due to the variety of the longlist, and the fresh perspectives and lively debate generated by the introduction of three new judges to the panel.

Our shortlist was achieved by the judges' instinctive reaction to each book. The seven shortlisted novels, a mix of old hands and new voices, offer readers joy in the discovery of unusual subjects and times; appreciation of historical research and insight worn lightly and applied skilfully; and, perhaps most important of all, that visceral connection to the characters which is the prerequisite of every novel, whether historical or not.

The judging panel comprised Alistair Moffat (chair), Elizabeth Buccleuch, Kate Figes, Katharine Grant, James Holloway, Elizabeth Laird, and James Naughtie.

To qualify, books must have been published in the previous year in the UK or the Commonwealth, and be mostly set in the past - for the purposes of the Prize, at least 60 years ago. This definition comes from the subtitle of Walter Scott’s novel Waverley; Or, ’Tis Sixty Years Since.

Jo Baker
Sebastian Barry
Charlotte Hobson
Hannah Kent
Francis Spufford
Graham Swift
Rose Tremain