Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders has been named the winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Lincoln in the Bardo is the first full-length novel from George Saunders (internationally renowned short story writer). It is published by Bloomsbury, a leading,independent, worldwide publishing house which has won the prize three times before, with Howard Jacobson (2010), Margaret Atwood (2000) and Michael Ondaatje (1992).
Lincoln in the Bardo focuses on a single night in the life of Abraham Lincoln: an actual moment in 1862 when the body of his 11-year-old son was laid to rest in a Washington cemetery. Strangely and brilliantly, Saunders activates this graveyard with the spirits of its dead. The Independent described the novel as ‘completely beguiling’, praising Saunders for concocting a ‘narrative like no other: a magical, mystery tour of the bardo – the “intermediate” or transitional state between one’s death and one’s next birth, according to Tibetan Buddhism.’ Meanwhile, theGuardian wrote that, ‘the short story master’s first novel is a tale of great formal daring . . . . [it] stands head and shoulders above most contemporary fiction, showing a writer who is expanding his universe outwards, and who clearly has many more pleasures to offer his readers.’