Ir­ish au­thor wins Scott book prize again

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By PAUL WARD

Nov­el­ist Se­bas­tian Barry has won the pres­ti­gious Wal­ter Scott lit­er­ary prize for a sec­ond time.

The Ir­ish au­thor first won the £25,000 award in 2012 and has claimed it again this year with his novel Days With­out End.

First awarded in 2010, the Wal­ter Scott Prize for His­tor­i­cal Fic­tion is named af­ter the in­ven­tor of the his­tor­i­cal fic- tion genre. It is open to books pub­lished in the pre­vi­ous year in the UK, Ire­land or the Com­mon­wealth - and pre­vi­ous win­ners in­clude Hi­lary Man­tel, An­drea Levy and Robert Har­ris.

Re­flect­ing the sub­ti­tle of Scott’s fa­mous work Waver­ley: Tis Sixty Years Since, the ma­jor­ity of the short­listed books’ sto­ry­lines must have taken place at least 60 years ago.

Mr Barry said: “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.”

He added: “It seems to me that the prize it­self has not only boosted and bol­stered the his­tor­i­cal novel, but also has be­gun to re­de­fine it.”

Days With­out End tells the story of two young men dur­ing the found­ing of mod­ern Amer­ica in the mid-19th cen­tury.

It also won the Costa Prize.

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