Selkirk author Allan Massie nominated for £25K Walter Scott book prize

Allan Massie's End Games in Bordeaux, the fourth of his accomplished crime series, has been nominated.

Allan Massie's End Games in Bordeaux, the fourth of his accomplished crime series, has been nominated.

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Selkirk author Allan Massie among 13 contenders for the £25,000 Walter Scott prize , awarded for the best historical novel of the year.

Four of the nominated titles on the long list for what is one of the most prestogious literary awards in the UK are set in and around the Second World War, while others delve into the Victorian era or back into ancient history.

Mr Massie’s End Games in Bordeaux is set in France in 1944, the fourth of his accomplished crime series featuring Inspector Lannes.

Alistair Moffat, director of the Borders Book Festival and chairman of the judging panel, said: “Walter Scott was the first in a long line of authors who have transformed history into stories that transport the reader straight into the epicentre of another time and place. We believe this is the central strength of the books that make up our 2016 long-list.

A shortlist will be announced later this month.

“The judges and readers who collate the long list had to ask pertinent questions about the nature of fiction that flows between the past and the present,” said Mr Moffat. Critically acclaimed books by Robert Harris and Kate Atkinson are also on the long list. Mr Harris – a previous winner of the prize – is nominated for Dictator, the final instalment of his trilogy following the rise and fall of Cicero, the Roman statesman. God in Ruins is Kate Atkinson’s companion piece to Life after Life, and follows the travails of Teddy, a heroic RAF pilot, obliged to adjust to the post-war world.

Gavin McCrea, Ajay Close, Lucy Treloar, Stephen Jarvis, Jason Hewitt, Simon Mawer, Anthony Quinn, William Boyd, Patrick Gale and Sarah Moss are also nominated.