A NOVEL that explores the marriage of artists Edward and Jo Hopper has been awarded the Walter Scott Prize For Historical Fiction.
Irish author Christine Dwyer Hickey’s The Narrow Landwas unveiled as the winner on Friday night.
Normally, the prize would be awarded as part of the Borders Book Festival in Melrose but, due to the coronavirus lockdowns, this year’s announcement was made on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row programme.
Hickey beat The Parisian by Isabella Hammad, To Calais, In Ordinary Time by James Meek, Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor, The Redeemed by Tim Pears, and A Sin Of Omission by Marguerite Poland.
This year’s judges were Elizabeth Buccleuch, James Holloway, Elizabeth Laird, James Naughtie, Kirsty Wark, and chair Katie Grant.
They said: “‘It’s a risky business, portraying the marriage of two artists, particularly when both the marriage and the art have already been picked over by biographers and art historians.
“Christine Dwyer Hickey has embraced the risk and created a masterpiece.”
Hickey said: “Writing a novel takes a big chunk of one’s life – The Narrow Land was six years in the making – which is why I really, really appreciate this recognition.”
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