Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction longlist announced

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image captionThe prize honours the founding father of historical fiction, Sir Walter Scott

The longlist has been revealed for the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction to be awarded at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose in June.

A total of 15 books are in the running to take the sixth edition.

It is the first time a longlist has been revealed with the shortlist of six to be announced in London next month.

Judges said this reflected the 40% increase in entries for the prize as well as the "high quality of historical fiction" currently being published.

The longlisted books are:

  • The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis
  • The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry
  • The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
  • The Lie by Helen Dunmore
  • Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre
  • In the Wolf's Mouth by Adam Foulds
  • Mr Mac and Me by Esther Freud
  • Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut
  • Wake by Anna Hope
  • The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth
  • The Undertaking by Audrey Magee
  • A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie
  • The Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shafak
  • The Ten Thousand Things by John Spurling
  • The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Alistair Moffat, who chairs the judging panel, said it had been a difficult choice.

'Extraordinary array'

"The quality of the historical novels published in 2014 has been exceptional, and writers, whether inspired by landmark anniversaries, or encouraged by the reading public's growing appetite for good books set in the past, have produced an extraordinary array of time-machine novels this year," he said.

"Our longlist is usually 12 but, given the strength of published work this year, and our decision to make it public for the first time, we have expanded the longlist to 15.

"We hope that by publishing the longlist, we can help point readers to some of the very best historical fiction published in the year."

First awarded in 2010, the prize honours the founding father of historical fiction, Sir Walter Scott, and rewards fiction of "exceptional quality which is set in the past".

Previous winners include Hilary Mantel, Andrea Levy, Sebastian Barry, Tan Twan Eng and Robert Harris.

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