Walter Scott historical fiction prize shortlist revealed

BooksImage source, Walter Scott Prize

The shortlist for the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction has been announced.

The award would usually be given out at the Border Book Festival in Melrose in June.

However, organisers said they were studying how that would be done as the festival has been postponed.

Works by Christine Dwyer Hickey, Isabella Hammad, James Meek, Joseph O'Connor, Tim Pears and Marguerite Poland are in the running.

The prize was first awarded in 2010 and previous winners include Hilary Mantel, Sebastian Barry and Robert Harris.

This year's shortlist is:

  • The Narrow Land by Christine Dwyer Hickey
  • The Parisian by Isabella Hammad
  • To Calais, In Ordinary Time by James Meek
  • Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor
  • The Redeemed by Tim Pears
  • A Sin Of Omission by Marguerite Poland
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall won the inaugural Walter Scott prize in 2010

The judges said that in a time of crisis historical fiction could be "both reassurance and escape".

They added that the shortlist contained six books from writers as varied as they were talented.

Plans for how the winner will be announced are expected to be decided soon.