South Scotland

Walter Scott prize shortlist revealed

John Spurling Image copyright Alex Hewitt
Image caption John Spurling was named the winner of the Walter Scott Prize last year

The shortlist for this year's Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been announced.

William Boyd, Patrick Gale, Gavin McCrea, Allan Massie, Simon Mawer and Lucy Treloar are in the running to receive the honour in Melrose in June.

The winning author will pick up the £25,000 first prize.

The judges said each place on the shortlist had been "hard fought" in "another exceptional year for historical fiction".

"This embarrassment of riches forced us to focus our lens more closely on fiction which evokes an authentic atmosphere of the past, rather than that which solely deals with the nature of memory," they said in a statement.

"The six books we have chosen are certainly evocative - transporting us from the Great Northern prairies to the South Australian coast, via a wide sweep across pre-war and post-war Europe - but they also tell great stories, and bring periods of history alive, much as Walter Scott did in his time."

The six books are:

  • Sweet Caress by William Boyd
  • A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale
  • Mrs Engels by Gavin McCrea
  • End Games in Bordeaux by Allan Massie
  • Tightrope by Simon Mawer
  • Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar

Last year's prize went to John Spurling for his book The Ten Thousand Things.

This year's winner will be announced on 18 June during the Borders Book Festival in Melrose.

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