Twelve novels will compete for the £25,000 prize, with scenes covering the world and centuries.
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Subjects range from ancient Tahiti to Australia and Tasmania at the dawn of colonialism; from the seventeenth century to the literary salons of nineteenth-century Europe; From the beaches of Suffolk to the tranquil Thomas Hardy Dorset countryside; from distraught South America to Belfast under siege during the Blitz; and from the narrow streets of 18th-century London to the chaos of the Irish bog in the 1950s.
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The long list is:
Roman William Boyd (Viking)
These Days Lucy Caldwell (Faber & Faber)
My name is YIP Paddy Crewe (Doubleday)
LOBACHEVSKY ARCHITECTURE Adrian Duncan (Tuskar Rocks)
The Law of Supremacy by Robert Harris (Hutchinson Heinemann)
The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho Patterson Joseph (Dialogue Books).
Chosen by Elizabeth Lowery (Riverone)
Second look for Zachary Cloudesley, Sean Lusk (Doubleday)
The Sun Walks Down Fiona MacFarlane (Allen & Unwin)
ANCESTRY Simon Mawer (small, brown)
I Am Not Your Eve Devika Ponnambalam (Blue Moose Books)
THE SETTLEMENT Jock Serong (Text Publishing)
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Chair of the jury Katie Grant said: “This year’s performances for the Walter Scott Prize provided, as always, many hours of world wandering, a centuries-old pleasure, and our long list reflects the breadth of literary talent, research and imagination exhibited by so many beautiful entries.
Our long list also reflects the evolution of historical fiction from a relatively straightforward depiction of bygone times to something more complex and ambitious.
It is still true that the past is a ‘foreign country,’ but as our twelve long-listed novels demonstrate, however ‘strange’ it may sound, the past helps us address the great questions of the present: Is art its justification? What do we leave behind when we die? What is freedom?
“In addition to asking these and many other questions, in the 2023 WSP Long List you will 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 long list to read, enjoy, discuss and share.”
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