Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres, so I was immediately interested to read that the shortlist for the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been announced. The Prize honours the achievements and legacy of Sir Walter Scott, the founding father of the historical novel and the winner will be announced at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland, on 13 June.
To qualify, books must be by authors from the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth.
The shortlist is:
- LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson
- THE LUMINARIES by Eleanor Catton
- HARVEST by Jim Crace
- FAIR HELEN by Andrew Greig
- AN OFFICER AND A SPY by Robert Harris
- THE PROMISE by Ann Weisgarber
Life After Life (which won the Costa Novel Award) is the only one of these books that I have, but I fancy reading some of the others, such as Luminaries, which won the Man Booker Prize and Fair Helen set in the Borders in the 1590s, based on a Border Ballad and legend often called €˜the Scottish Romeo and Juliet’. And I’ll certainly take at least a look at the others before June.