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George Saunders has won the Man Booker Prize 2017 for his work ‘Lincoln in The Bardo.’ The 58-year-old American writer’s book addresses the life of US President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), focusing on the period after his 11-year-old son died.
Baroness Lola Young, Chair of the Man Booker Prize judges, noted that the novel is characterised by being “original, innovative, intelligent and deeply moving,” with one judge describing it as “fireworks that light up the sky and make you rethink how you thought about things like death and grief and bereavement.”
George Saunders is renowned in the USA as writer of short stories, some of which have won prestigious awards and honours, including the Folio Prize and the Story Prize. ‘Lincoln in The Bardo’ is his first novel, written on the insistence of his friends and critics.
The UK Man Booker Prize is worth BRP 50,000 and is one of the world’s most prestigious literary fiction awards. On its launch in 1969 it was open exclusively for novels written by British writers. This changed in 2014 when the eligibility criterion was amended to comprise any English-language novel published in Great Britain, irrespective of the author’s nationality.