Every year, we interview the judges of the Walter Scott Prize to hear about the latest historical novels we should be reading, but with so much new historical fiction being published every week, we like to keep a look out for other books that look interesting. We also keep track of new books by authors who have done an interview with us or whose books have been frequently recommended on Five Books. If you're interested in a particular era, we have a special section devoted to the very popular genre of World War II historical fiction. We also have an interview on the best medieval historical fiction, recommended by Professor Marion Turner, a medieval literature expert at the University of Oxford.
The Walter Scott Prize seeks to highlight the very best of historical fiction—and in 2021, we find the shortlist dominated by Australian writers. Katharine Grant, the acclaimed novelist and chair of the judges, returns to Five Books to discuss the cream of this year’s crop, and the art of transforming the historical record into a creative exercise.
Historical fiction is experiencing something of a golden age at present: there’s never been a better time to immerse oneself in the past. The acclaimed novelist Katharine Grant—chair of the judges for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction—talks us through their 2020 shortlist.