If you’ve been following my blog for a while you will know that I have been slowly (very slowly) working through all of the books shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction since the prize began in 2010. I am always looking for quality historical fiction and I find that the books nominated for this particular prize are of a consistently high standard. You can see the progress I’ve made with this here – and I know there are other bloggers working on similar projects too.
The longlist for the 2019 prize has been announced today and includes lots of intriguing titles. I’m not planning on trying to read the entire longlist – I’m waiting until the shortlist is announced – but I would still like to read as many of these as I can.
Here are the twelve books on this year’s longlist:
Little by Edward Carey (Gallic Books)
A Long Way From Home by Peter Carey (Faber)
After The Party by Cressida Connolly (Viking)
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Serpent’s Tail)
The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey (Jonathan Cape)
Dark Water by Elizabeth Lowry (riverrun)
Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller (Sceptre)
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Jonathan Cape)
The Wanderers by Tim Pears (Bloomsbury)
The Long Take by Robin Robertson (Picador)
All The Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy (Maclehose Press)
Tombland by C J Sansom (Mantle)
The only one of these I’ve read so far is Now We Shall Be Entirely Free, which I enjoyed, but I have Tombland and The Western Wind on my TBR and was already interested in reading Washington Black as well. I also have a copy of The Horseman, which is the first book in Tim Pears’ West Country Trilogy; I will need to read that one before I can read The Wanderers.
Have you read any of the books on this year’s longlist? Which ones do you think deserve to be shortlisted?
In addition, the Walter Scott Prize Academy has also announced its annual list of twenty recommended historical fiction novels published in the last year (these books are separate from the longlist and have not been nominated for the prize).
Love Is Blind by William Boyd (Viking)
The Prince Of Mirrors by Alan Robert Clark (Fairlight Books)
The Making Of Martin Sparrow by Peter Cochrane (Viking Australia)
So Much Life Left Over by Louis de Bernieres (Harvill Secker)
All Among The Barley by Melissa Harrison (Bloomsbury)
The Hundred Wells Of Salaga by Ayesha Harruna Attah (Cassava Republic)
Only Killers And Thieves by Paul Howarth (Pushkin Press)
Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile by Alice Jolly (Unbound)
The Black Earth by Philip Kazan (Allison & Busby)
The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson (Two Roads)
Mad Blood Stirring by Simon Mayo (Doubleday)
As The Women Lay Dreaming by Donald S Murray (Saraband)
Kintu by Jennifer Nansubaga Makumbi (Oneworld)
The Angel’s Mark by S J Perry (Corvus)
A View Of The Empire At Sunset by Caryl Phillips (Vintage)
Painter To The King by Amy Sackville (Granta)
A Treachery Of Spies by Manda Scott (Bantam Press)
The Tristan Chord by Glenn Skwerer (Unbound)
Never Anyone But You by Rupert Thomson (Corsair)
The Madonna Of The Mountains by Elise Valmorbida (Faber)
Again, I have read one of these books and enjoyed it – The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson. I’ve heard of a few of the others, but most of them are new to me. I have a lot of investigating to do!
You can find out more about the books and the Academy here. What do you think of their choices?