The Long Song takes £25,000 award for historical fiction


Andrea Levy wins Walter Scott prize Culture

ALISON FLOOD || GUARDIAN.CO.UK || JULY 2011

Andrea Levy‘s story of the end of slavery, The Long Song, has won the £25,000 Walter Scott prize for historical fiction.

Told as the memoir of an old Jamaican woman who was once a slave on a sugar-cane plantation in early 19th-century Jamaica, The Long Song beat titles including David Mitchell’s tale of 18th-century Japan, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, and Tom McCarthy’s experimental take on the life of a first world war radio operator, C, to win the award.

Levy said she was “very honoured” to have been chosen by judges as this year’s winner. “This is a generous literary prize which focuses attention on an important aspect of the role of fiction. Fiction can – and must – step in where historians cannot go because of the rigour of their discipline. Fiction can breathe life into our lost or forgotten histories,” said the author, who won the Orange prize for her evocation of a Jamaican immigrant couple in postwar London, Small Island. >>READ MORE

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