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Walter Scott Prize shortlist announced

5th April 2012

The shortlist for the GBP 25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been announced, with five of 2011's most acclaimed books in contention for the award.

They include The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst, who scooped the UK author of the year prize at the 2011 Galaxy National Book Awards, and Andrew Miller's Pure, which won the 2011 Costa Book of the Year award.

Two titles shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker PrizeEsi Edugyan's Half Blood Blues and Patrick deWitt's The Sisters Brothers – are also in contention, alongside Sebastian Barry's On Canaan's Side, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize but did not make it any further.

Barry Unsworth's Quality of Mercy, a sequel to his 1992 Booker Prize winner Sacred Hunger, completes the shortlist for the Walter Scott Prize, the winner of which will be announced on June 16th at the Borders Book Festival.

The judging panel said the victorious title will be selected for its 'originality, innovation and quality of writing', as well as the book's ability to 'shed light on both the present and the past'.

Last year's Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction was won by Andrea Levy for The Long Song, a novel about the life of a young girl who is forced into slavery shortly before the practice is abolished.

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