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Author becomes double winner at Borders Book Festival

Sebastian Barry, authoer and double Walter Scott Prize winner Photo: Stone Hill Salt

Sebastian Barry won the eighth £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, collecting his award at the 2017 Borders Book Festival.

He won the award for his American novel 'Days Without End'.

The author's previous novel, 'On Canaan's Side' won the prize in 2012.

It’s difficult to itemise my simple childish joy at receiving this prize; that the judges did all this work to make a 61 year old man feel 12 again.

– Sebastian Barry, Author

The judges for the prize included writers and journalists and the festival director.

Our decision to award Sebastian Barry’s Days Without End was one of the hardest the Walter Scott Prize has ever had to make.

With all seven books on the shortlist having strong supporters on the judging panel who championed their cause in a protracted and passionate debate about the nature and purpose of historical fiction, the very books themselves seemed to fight tooth and nail for the accolade.

What a hard choice it was. But we are delighted to declare Days Without End the winner of the eighth Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction – and Sebastian Barry the first writer to win the Prize twice.

– Alistair Moffat, Borders Book Festival Director

The Walter Scott Prize is awarded to UK, Irish or Commonwealth novels that are considered to be the "best" of the previous year, that are set more than sixty years ago.

It was founded in honour of Sir Walter Scott, who is considered to be one of the inventors of the historical novel genre.

Previous winners include Hilary Mantel, Andrea Levy, Tan Twan Eng, Robert Harris, John Spurling and Simon Mawer.