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.