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message 1: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1899 comments Mod
As I was reading about the short list for the 2020 Walter Scott Prize for the best historical fiction over the past year, I looked for and realized we don't have a thread in this chat folder focused on great historical fiction written by women. Considering how popular a genre historical fiction is, let's close this gap and use this thread to share recs, ask for recs, and give some love to the novels and women authors writing it.

Five Books has posted an interview with Katharine Grant, chair of this year's judging panel for the Walter Scott prize. I am a big fan of the Five Books interviews when the subject matter is of interest.

Below is a link to the interview, and the three short-listed books authored by women and featured within it:

The Narrow Land by Christine Dwyer Hickey

The Parisian, a debut by Isabella Hammad

A Sin of Omission by South African author, Marguerite Poland

If you've read any of the above, what were your thoughts? If you've enjoyed other historical fiction novels in 2020, which are your half-dozen favorites? If you recomment them for certain readers, in particular, let us know for whom your recs might especially resonate.

message 2: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 336 comments I haven't read these books. I have read two historical fictions in 2020 that I gave five stars and both are by women.

The Tubman Command by Elizabeth Cobbs

This is a novel about Harriet Tubman's key role in planning and executing the Combahee River Raid in the American Civil War. If you are interested in Harriet Tubman, African American history or the American Civil War, you'll want to read this book.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

This takes place in early 20th century New York. It deals with the rights and treatment of sideshow performers, but a historical event also plays a crucial role. It's the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. If you're interested in the people who've been stigmatized as "freaks", woman garment workers in sweatshops, the history of labor and labor activism or the history of New York, you will want to read this book.

message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1899 comments Mod
Thank you, Shomeret. The Tubman Command is tailor-made for me. Thanks for highlighting it!

message 4: by Story (new)

Story (storyheart) | 629 comments I've also read three historical novels this year that I've rated highly:

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

The Golden Age and Gilgamesh, both by Joan London.

message 5: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Story❤ wrote: "I've also read three historical novels this year that I've rated highly:

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

The Golden Age and Gilgamesh, both by Joan London."

I have heard rave reviews of Hamnet and I can't wait to read it. It isn't published in the US until July, so I will wait until then.

message 6: by Story (new)

Story (storyheart) | 629 comments I hope you enjoy it, Laurie. Maggie O'Farrell is quickly becoming a favourite author for me.

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