George Saunders Wins the 2017 Man Booker Prize

October 17, 2017 | 1 book mentioned 5


Acclaimed short story writer George Saunders has won the Man Booker Prize for his novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. Following in Paul Beatty’s footsteps, Saunders—who was the favorite to win—is the second American writer to receive the award since its inception 49 years ago. In our review of the novel, The Millions‘ said “Saunders elevates the status of the in-between; the in-between is everything.” For a larger portrait of the esteemed author, read our own Elizabeth Minkel on Saunders and the “Question of Greatness.”

Here are the authors who were on this year’s shortlist.

is an associate editor for The Millions. She works in academic publishing by day and is a freelance writer and book reviewer by night. She tweets at @CarolynQuimby.


  1. H!

    Time for you Commonwealthers to grab your torches and pitchforks! Laugh. Don’t worry, though: they wouldn’t (couldn’t) be so blatant as to make it three times, in a row, next year… would they? Could they…?

  2. Yes Steve. Ugh. I am done with prizes. But like all Canadians i am presently crushed over the death of Gord Downie from Tragically Hip (brain cancer). Check out New Orleans is sinking for a taste of his poetry free styling. Man was genius. Books don’t matter right now.

  3. You actually read this one, Steven? I like Saunders’s short fiction but the conceit for this one sounded kind of forced (and a bit cheesy, like it was looking to get optioned by Tom Hanks) and while it got a few positive reviews, everyone I know personally who read it shrugged and said it was just OK, not near the best of George’s short stories (the same people who raved about Tenth of December had universally muted praise, at best, for this book).

    Personally, I liked the Booker just fine when it was just the commonwealth.

  4. Un!

    “Personally, I liked the Booker just fine when it was just the commonwealth.”

    Well, that’s just it. I haven’t read the Saunders book that won it (like you, I’m only familiar with the… I nearly wrote “his”… shorts: snarkily surrealist trifles pegging my twee meter, perfect NYer stuff). But it’s not as though Name Brand American writers don’t already have copious prizes and outlets available. With Americans in the Booker, now, there are probably writers the majority haven’t heard of who will stay that way. And I question the motives behind changing the Booker’s scope; was it crying out to be “fixed”? Why now? What’s next… the Eurovision Song Contest?

Add Your Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.