LONDON (AP) – The Latest on the awarding of the Man Booker Prize for fiction (all times local):
American author George Saunders has won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction with “Lincoln in the Bardo,” a polyphonic symphony of a novel about restless souls adrift in the afterlife.
The story of President Abraham Lincoln visiting the body of his 11-year-old son Willie in a Washington cemetery, it is narrated by a chorus of characters who are all dead, but unwilling or unable to let go of life.
Baroness Lola Young, who chaired the judging panel, praised “its innovation, its very different styling, the way in which it paradoxically brought to life these almost-dead souls.”
Saunders was awarded the prize Tuesday by Prince Charles’ wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at London’s medieval Guildhall.
It is the second year in a row an American has won the 50,000 pound ($66,000) prize, which was opened to U.S. authors in 2014.
American author George Saunders is the bookmakers’ favorite to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction with his novel of the afterlife, “Lincoln in the Bardo.”
Six novels are contending for the 50,000 pound ($66,000) prize, including Saunders’ tale of Abraham Lincoln and his dead son and U.S. novelist Paul Auster’s quadruple coming-of-age story “4321.”
The other finalists are U.S. writer Emily Fridlund’s story of a Midwest teenager, “History of Wolves;” Scottish novelist Ali Smith’s Brexit-themed “Autumn;” British-Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid’s migration saga “Exit West;” and “Elmet,” debut British novelist Fiona Mozley’s story of a fiercely independent family under threat.
The prize, subject to intense speculation, usually brings the victor a huge boost in sales and profile.