Sean Lusk's debut, The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley, has been included in the longlist for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. In total, 12 novels are in contention for the £25,000 prize.
Novelist and columnist Katie Grant, chair of judges, said: “This year’s submissions to the Walter Scott Prize offered, as ever, many hours of globe-trotting, centuries-spanning pleasure, and our longlist is reflective of the breadth of literary talent, research and imagination displayed by
“It’s still true that the past is a ‘foreign country’, but as our 12 longlisted novels illustrate, however ‘foreign’ it seems, the past helps us address the big questions of the present: is art its own justification? What do we leave behind when we die? What is freedom? As well as posing these and many other questions, in the 2023 WSP longlist you’ll 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 longlist to read, enjoy, debate and share."
First awarded in 2010, and founded by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction aims to “honour the inventor of the historical fiction genre, Sir Walter Scott”. The prize’s judging panel comprises Grant, Elizabeth Buccleuch, James Holloway, Elizabeth Laird, James Naughtie, Kirsty Wark and new judge for 2023, investigative journalist, writer and documentary maker Saira Shah.
Each shortlisted author is awarded £1,500. The shortlist – which usually features six books — will be announced in April, and a winner announced in mid June at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland.