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Friday, June 23, 2017

Sebastian Barry Wins Walter Scott Prize

Earlier this week, the winner of the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction was announced.  Sebastian Barry won for his novel Days Without End.  

Thomas McNulty, aged barely seventeen and having fled the Great Famine in Ireland, signs up for the U.S. Army in the 1850s. With his brother in arms, John Cole, Thomas goes on to fight in the Indian Wars—against the Sioux and the Yurok—and, ultimately, the Civil War.  Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, the men find these days to be vivid and alive, despite the horrors they see and are complicit in.  Moving from Wyoming to Tennessee, this is the story of two men and the makeshift family they create with a young Sioux girl, Winona.

The book previously won the Costa Book of the Year award.  I really enjoyed the novel.  For my review, see   

The Walter Scott prize, awarded annually since 2010 is given to the best UK, Irish and Commonwealth novel set at least 60 years ago.  The prize, which comes with £25,000, was founded in memory of Walter Scott, who has been credited with the invention of the historical novel.