world : Caribbean writer takes Walter Scott fiction prize

world : Caribbean writer takes Walter Scott fiction prize
world : Caribbean writer takes Walter Scott fiction prize

Thursday 13 June 2024 10:30 PM

Nafeza 2 world - Caribbean writer Kevin Jared Hosein has won the 2024 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.

His novel Hungry Ghosts - which tells the story of marginalised Hindu communities in Trinidad during the 1940s - was announced as the winner at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose.

Judges described it as a "richly imaginative, urgent and compelling" work.

He received the £25,000 first prize from Mathew Maxwell Scott, a direct descendant of Sir Walter.

The author - who lives in Trinidad and Tobago - said it was "truly a privilege" to see his country represented when his book was shortlisted for the prize.

"I feel like I am accomplishing the dreams of my ancestors when they first crossed those dark seas from India almost two centuries ago," he said.

He saw off competition from Tom Crewe, Joseph O'Connor, Kai Thomas, Rose Tremain and Tan Twan Eng to take the honour.

The Walter Scott Prize is one of the UK's biggest literary awards with previous winners including Sebastian Barry, Robert Harris, Andrea Levy and Hilary Mantel.

Mr Maxwell Scott said the goal of the award was to encourage both readers and writers.

"Inspired by the founding father of historical fiction, and coming from Abbotsford, Scott’s ‘palace of the imagination’, our aim is to inspire people of all ages to discover the joy and value of historical fiction, and to support authors in their writing careers," he said.

Founded in 2009, the prize is open to novels published in the previous year in the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth, and set at least 60 years ago.

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