Scott Prize shortlist revealed

THE shortlist for the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction was announced this week.

The winner of one of the UK’s most lucrative literary awards, now in its third year, will be named by broadcaster Kirsty Wark, chairman of the judges, at a special event on Saturday, June 16, during the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival in Melrose.

The shortlist is:

z On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry

z Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyuan

z Pure by Andrew Miller

z The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst

z The Sisters Brothers by Patrick de Witt

z The Quality of Mercy by Barry Unsworth

The award is sponsored by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch The judging panel includes Louise Richardson, principal of St Andrew’s University; author Elizabeth Laird; documentary maker Elizabeth Buccleuch; and book festival director Alistair Moffat.

The prize is open to books published in the UK or Ireland in the preceding year. The main events depicted must have taken place more than 60 years ago and thus be outside the personal experience of the author.

This year’s prize will be presented by Hilary Mantel who won the inaugural award in 2010 with Wolf Hall. Last year’s winner was Andrea Levy for The Long Song.