Who’s Saying What about Historical Fiction

I thought I’d take a look via Google at what others are saying about historical fiction.

First up – a list from Read It Forward of Historical Fiction We Can’t Wait to Read in 2019 and written by Keith Rice, freelance writer and editor @Keith_Rice1. By the way, there are many other lists of interesting historical fiction for 2019.

In Why Are We Living in a Golden Age of Historical Fiction?, Megan O’Grady writes: “As visions of the future increasingly fail in the face of our present moment, literary authors are increasingly looking back, not to comfort us with a sense of known past, or even an easy allegory of the present, but instead — motivated by a kind of clue-gathering — to seek reasons for why we are the way we are and how we got here, and at what point the train began to derail.” She has a lot more to say than this one quote and I encourage you to read the full article.

In Read Brightly, tagline Raise Kids Who Love to Read, Ellen Klages writes Why Historical Fiction is Important for 21st Century Kids … “I think it’s important for kids to be aware that the past was often less than savory, that they learn about what actually happened, not what some would like to pretend it was like.”

Why is Holocaust Fiction Still So Popular? Writing in Haaretz, a leading Israeli newspaper, Emily Burack tackles this topic. She says: “I came to understand that Holocaust fiction remains popular for four key reasons: a mix of who is telling the story (the third and fourth generations), the types of stories (not straightforward, but morally ambiguous), the historical truth at the heart of all these novels and our current political moment.”

Historical Fiction – How, What, When and Why … this article appears on a site called Writers & Artists – The Insider Guide to the Media. The article, written by members of Triskele Books, includes top research tips, visual approaches, inspiration, and reliving the past.

The Walter Scott Prize for 2019 Shortlist is out … the shortlisted novels include The Long Take by Robin Robertson, Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller, The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey, After The Party by Cressida Connolly and A Long Way From Home by Peter Carey.


M.K. Tod writes historical fiction. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.



Stuff Happening in Historical Fiction

Checking around the internet for news and insights on the historical fiction front recently and found lots of books to add to my TBR pile.

The American Library Association published its 2015 reading list with these offerings in the historical fiction category:

Bitter Greens by Kate ForsythWinner
Bitter Greens” by Kate Forsyth (Thomas Dunne) I have a copy signed by the author!


“In the Company of the Courtesan” by Sarah Dunant (Random House)
“The Girls at the Kingfisher Club” by Genevieve Valentine (Atria)
“The Moon and the Sun” by Vonda McIntyre (Pocket)

Short List
“Flight of the Sparrow” by Amy Belding Brown (NAL)
“Hild” by Nicola Griffith (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
“Wayfaring Stranger” by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster)
“The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress” by Ariel Lawhon (Doubleday)

The long list for the Walter Scott award for historical fiction was announced. I’ve read two — The Miniaturist and Arctic Summer — and I know which of those would be my preference.

  • The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis
  • The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry
  • The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
  • The Lie by Helen Dunmore
  • Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre
  • In the Wolf’s Mouth by Adam Foulds
  • Mr Mac and Me by Esther Freud
  • Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut
  • Wake by Anna Hope
  • The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth
  • The Undertaking by Audrey Magee
  • A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie
  • The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak
  • The Ten Thousand Things by John Spurling
  • The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

The Historical Novel Society published a lengthy list of upcoming novels for 2015. If you have a look, you’ll find everything from ancient Rome to the 1960s. Lots to anticipate from debut authors and established favourites.


M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. is also available from these retailers.

Mary can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.