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George Saunders' 'Lincoln in the Bardo' wins Booker prize

George Saunders' 'Lincoln in the Bardo' wins Booker prize

American author George Saunders won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction on Tuesday for Lincoln in the Bardo, a polyphonic symphony of a novel about restless souls adrift in the afterlife.

He became only the second American writer to win Britain's renowned Prize, which was awarded for his first full-length novel "Lincoln in the Bardo". The prize was announced at a ceremony in London.

About the book:

The book is based on a real visit President Abraham Lincoln made in 1862 to the body of his 11-year-old son Willie at a Washington cemetery. By turns witty, bawdy, poetic and unsettling, Lincoln in the Bardo juxtaposes events from Lincoln’s life and the U.S. Civil War through passages from historians both real and fictional with a chorus of otherworldly characters who are dead, but unwilling or unable to let go of life. The novel, which took four years to write, turned out to be pointedly timely in a divided United States.

Lincoln in the Bardo is the first novel by the 58-year-old Saunders, an acclaimed short story writer who won the Folio Prize in 2014 for his darkly funny story collection Tenth of December.

Who else won this award:

Saunders is the second American in a row to win the prize, founded in 1969 and until 2013 limited to writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth. The 2016 winner was Paul Beatty’s The Sellout.

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