SEVEN books have been shortlisted for this year’s Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction:

Today we look at ‘I am not your Eve’ by Devika Ponnambalam (Bluemoose) and find out why the judges chose it.

“Into a whirlpool of vivid and lyrical writing, Devika Ponnambalam pours Paul Gauguin’s tormented but richly creative years in Tahiti and his relationship with Teha’amana: muse, child bride and subject of his masterpiece, The Spirit of the Dead.  

READ MORE: Find out what the judges think of each book

“Seen principally from her vantage point but also imagining that of Aline, Gauguin’s daughter and Teha'amana's  contemporary back in Europe, Ponnambalam painfully draws out the destructive cultural clash between the French colonisers and Christian missionaries and the ancient mythologies and peoples of the Polynesian islands.  

“This is a complex novel, raising uncomfortable issues of morality and demanding much of the reader, but it is deeply rewarding.” 

The winner will be announced at the Borders Book Festival in June.