THE six books in the running for the 2024 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction have been revealed.

The prestigious fiction prize is among the richest in the UK, with the winner in line to receive £25,000.

Judges said a “deep understanding of humanity” was at the heart of each of the novels on the shortlist.

The six books going forward are: 

  • The New Life by Tom Crewe
  • Hungry Ghosts by Kevin Jared Hosein
  • My Father's House by Joseph O'Connor
  • In the Upper Country by Kai Thomas
  • Absolutely and Forever by Rose Tremain
  • The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng

The judges said: “The Walter Scott Prize judging criteria – originality, innovation, ambition, durability and of course quality of writing – are beautifully showcased in our 2024 shortlist. 

“In addition, we have six novels as diverse in their subject-matter as in style of writing: an attempted sexual revolution in eighteenth century London; dangerously entwined lives in 1940s Trinidad; gripping tensions in Nazi-occupied Rome; a gentle 1960s home-counties heartbreaker; stories within stories from the terminus of the Underground Railroad; and love, betrayal and scandal in the Straits Settlements of Penang. 

“At the heart of each novel lies a deep understanding of humanity in all its quirky strengths and weaknesses, with each of the WSP 2024 shortlisted authors having something new to say and a new way of saying it.”

Books must have been written in English, set more than 60 years ago, and published during 2023 in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth.

Shortlisted authors this year are from England, Ireland, Trinidad, Canada and Malaysia.

The winner will be announced at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose on Thursday, June 13.