The 2015 Walter Scott Prize longlist

I was interested to see that the longlist for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction was announced today. I’ve been following this prize for the last few years and this is the first time the longlist has been made public. The judges have selected fifteen books, with the shortlist to be announced in March and the winner in June.

You can learn more about the prize on the Walter Scott Prize website.

The fifteen books on the longlist 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

I have read four of these books – The Temporary Gentleman, The Miniaturist, The Lie and Mr Mac and Me – and have linked to my reviews above so that you can see what I thought of them.

Anna Hope’s Wake is a book I would like to read at some point. I remember hearing a lot about it when it was published last year, but I didn’t read it as I wasn’t in the mood for a First World War novel at that time. I’m sure I’ll read The Paying Guests eventually too as I’ve enjoyed all of Sarah Waters’ previous novels, but I haven’t been in any hurry after seeing some very mixed reviews. The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth first came to my attention when it was longlisted for the Booker Prize last year – having looked at the first few pages I decided the unusual writing style didn’t appeal to me. Maybe I should give it a chance after all?

All of the other titles on the list are new to me, so I’ve had to do some investigating! Viper Wine sounds very intriguing and so does The Architect’s Apprentice.

Have you read any of these books? Are there any that you think I need to try?

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6 thoughts on “The 2015 Walter Scott Prize longlist

  1. Alex says:

    I never think of myself as a reader of historical fiction, but there are four of these that I’ve read as well, Helen. You might like Anna Hope’s ‘Wake’. And, although I haven’t read it yet after reading Kamila Shamsie’s ‘Burnt Shadows’ I definitely want to try ‘A God in Every Stone’.

    • Helen says:

      The Walter Scott Prize tends to cover quite a broad and diverse range of historical fiction so there’s always a good chance that you will have read or want to read at least a few of the titles.I haven’t read anything by Kamila Shamsie but will definitely consider it now.

  2. Jo says:

    Wake by Anna Hope is a marvellous book. So moving.

    I have Mr Mac and Me to read along with The Paying Guests on my kindle, so will get ton them soon I think (or hope!)

    February was a slow reading month for me, not sure why? Must get on and review my reading for it.

    • Helen says:

      I’m looking forward to reading Wake. I remember seeing lots of very positive reviews of it last year, but just never got round to reading it. I enjoyed Mr Mac and Me, but haven’t read The Paying Guests yet…maybe soon!

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