Esi Edugyan and Patrick deWitt will go head-to-head once again, this time for the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction, a U.K. literary award established in 2010.
Last year, the duo dominated the Canadian award circuit. Edugyan won the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel Half-Blood Blues (Thomas Allen Publishers) and deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers (House of Anansi Press) took the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Literary Award. Both were shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize, but lost to Julian Barnes.
The Canadian authors are up against Barry Unsworth’s The Quality of Mercy, Sebastian Barry’s On Canaan’s Side, Alan Hollinghurst’s The Stranger’s Child, and Andrew Miller’s Pure.
According to The Guardian, the Walter Scott Prize jury, composed of author and historian Alistair Moffat and television presenter Kristy Wark, is seeking the ability of a book to shed light on the present as well as the past.
The winner receives £25,000, and will be announced on June 16, at the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland.