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Sebastian Barry wins the Walter Scott Prize for the second time

Sebastian Barry wins the Walter Scott Prize for the second time

19 June 2017


Irish author Sebastian Barry has won this year’s Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction with his epic novel Days Without End, five years after he won the same prize for On Canaan’s Side.

The judges awarded the prize for a “glorious and unusual story; the seamlessly interwoven period research; and above all for the unfaltering power and authenticity of the narrative voice, a voice no reader is likely to forget.” The book follows the life of Irish immigrant Thomas McNulty as he traverses his newly adopted country fighting in the Indian Wars and the American Civil War with his brother-in-arms, John Cole. Days Without End also came away with this year’s Costa Book of the Year Prize, which Barry first won in 2008 with The Secret Scripture.

The judges commented that their decision to award the prize to Barry’s novel “was one of the hardest the Walter Scott Prize has had to make, with all seven books on the shortlist having strong supporters”. Here is the complete shortlist:

A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker (Coming soon)

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry 11707 (Winner)

The Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte Hobson

The Good People by Hannah Kent

Golden Hill by Francis Spufford 11779

Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift

The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain 11427


Other Sebastian Barry books available from the Calibre Library are: On Canaan’s Side 8985, The Secret Scripture 8256, A Long Long Way 7263, and Annie Dunne 6575.


Denise James