George Saunders Wins the Man Booker Prize

Author George Saunders won the 2017 Man Booker prize Tuesday for his experimental novel Lincoln in the Bardo. Saunders’ win marks the second year in a row an American author claimed Britain’s most prestigious literary prize. Speaking to The New York Times after receiving his award Tuesday, Saunders said he was glad the judges had appreciated his “weird” and unconventional novel. “I didn’t do it just to be fancy, but because there was this emotional core I could feel, and that form was the only way I could get to it,” he said. The novel, set in a cemetery in 1862, focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s grief over his dead 11-year-old son, Willie, and features extensive dialogue among an entire community of ghosts. Lola Young, the chair of judges, said in announcing the decision Tuesday that the novel “stood out because of its innovation, its very different styling; the way in which it paradoxically brought to life these almost dead souls, not quite dead souls, this other world.”