The Long Song wins Walter Scott Prize

Andrea Levy's Man Booker-shortlisted The Long Song (Headline Review) has been lauded by judges of the Walter Scott Prize for its "imaginative depth", as the author won the £25,000 award.

The prize was bestowed on the author for the novel, about the legacy of slavery, at the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland on Saturday (18th June).

Levy said: “I’m very honoured to receive the Walter Scott Prize. 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."

The judges said: “Andrea Levy brings to this story such personal understanding and imaginative depth that her characters leap from the page, with all the resilience, humour and complexity of real people. There are no clichés or stereotypes here. The Long Song is quite simply a celebration of the triumphant human spirit in times of great adversity.”

The Long Song was chosen from a shortlist of six books, which ranged from subjects on imperial Japan, Tudor England, Tsarist Russia, and 19th century Jamaica to turn-of-the-century Ireland and interwar London.