The shortlist for the 2017 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been announced today.
The winner will be announced at the Borders Book Festival, in Melrose, on Saturday 17 June.
The following books have been shortlisted:
Jo Baker A Country Road, A Tree (Doubleday)
Sebastian Barry Days Without End (Faber)
Charlotte Hobson The Vanishing Futurist (Faber)
Hannah Kent The Good People (Picador Australia)
Francis Spufford Golden Hill (Faber)
Graham Swift Mothering Sunday (Scribner)
Rose Tremain The Gustav Sonata (Chatto & Windus)
The judges have issued a joint statement:
Our shortlist was achieved by the judges' instinctive reaction to each book. The seven shortlisted novels, a mix of old hands and new voices, offer readers joy in the discovery of unusual subjects and times; appreciation of historical research and insight worn lightly and applied skilfully; and, perhaps most important of all, that visceral connection to the characters which is the prerequisite of every novel, whether historical or not.
The judging panel is made up of Alistair Moffat (chair), Elizabeth Buccleuch, Kate Figes, Katharine Grant, James Holloway, Elizabeth Laird, and James Naughtie.
The Walter Scott Prize, founded in 2009 by its patrons the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, is the largest annual fiction prize to be judged outside London, and honours the legacy and achievements of Sir Walter Scott, founder of the historical novel.
The winner receives £25,000, and shortlisted authors each receive £1000.