For the first half of 2012, the shortlisted titles are:
The Cove by Ron Rash, about a doomed love affair between a lonely young woman and a mysterious stranger in the North Carolina Appalachians during the World War I years; and
A Good Man by Guy Vanderhaeghe, about a man living in the borderlands between the American and Canadian West in the late 19th century as tensions between the U.S. government and Indians reach the boiling point.
The final shortlist, to be announced later this year, will cover novels published in July through December.
For more on the prize see the Langum Charitable Trust. To submit a novel for consideration, view the directions available at the site.
The prize is awarded annually to the "best book in American historical fiction that is both excellent fiction and excellent history." Past years' winners include Julie Otsuka's The Buddha in the Attic, Ann Weisgarber's The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, Edward Rutherfurd's New York, and Kathleen Kent's The Heretic's Daughter.