Walter Scott Prize longlist unveiled

THE longlist for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been published

Twelve novels are in the running for the £25,000 prize, which celebrates books published in the UK, Ireland, and the Commonwealth.

James Robertson won last year’s prize with News of the Dead.

Katie Grant, chair of the judges, said: “This year’s submissions to the Walter Scott Prize (WSP) offered, as ever, many hours of globe-trotting, centuries-spanning pleasure, and our longlist is reflective of the breadth of literary talent, research and imagination displayed by many fine entries.

“Our longlist also reflects the development of historical fiction from a relatively straightforward depiction of times past to something more complex and ambitious.”

“It’s still true that the past is a ‘foreign country’, but as our 12 longlisted novels illustrate, however ‘foreign’ it seems, the past helps us address the big questions of the present: is art its own justification? What do we leave behind when we die? What is freedom?

“As well as posing these and many other questions, in the 2023 WSP longlist you’ll find comfort and discomfort, the familiar and the unfamiliar, the heights of love and the depths of obsession, and perhaps a few surprises – in other words, a longlist to read, enjoy, debate and share.”

The books that made it onto the longlist are:

  • The Romantic by William Boyd (Viking)
  • These Days by Lucy Caldwell (Faber & Faber)
  • My Name is Yip by Paddy Crewe (Doubleday)
  • The Geometer Lobachevsky by Adrian Duncan (Tuskar Rocks)
  • Act Of Oblivion by Robert Harris (Hutchinson Heinemann)
  • The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatio Sancho by Paterson Joseph (Dialogue Books)
  • The Chosen by Elizabeth Lowry (Riverrun)
  • The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley by Sean Lusk (Doubleday)
  • The Sun Walks Down by Fiona Mcfarlane (Allen & Unwin)
  • Ancestry by Simon Mawer (Little, Brown)
  • I Am Not Your Eve by Devika Ponnambalam (Blue Moose Books)
  • The Settlement by Jock Serong (Text Publishing)

Find out more about the books on the competition’s website.

Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s book pages.

Plus, don’t miss more book reviews in the March issue of Scottish Field magazine.