American short story writer, George Saunders, has won the Man Booker prize for his first, experimental, full-length novel, 'Lincoln in the Bardo.' When Abraham Lincoln visits the crypt of his 11-year-old son, who died from typhoid, distraught, he imagines his son trapped in the Bardo, which is a Tibetan Buddhist term for a type of limbo, or the phase of existence between life and death. Although ostensibly alone, he is joined by a melange of spirits; those who inhabit the Bardo and also the long dead. The judges described 'Lincoln in the Bardo' as "haunting and haunted,” “heartrending and playful,” a “virtuoso choral performance” about love and regret.
George Saunders was born in Amarillo, Texas, and graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a degree in exploration geophysics. He began his career working in Sumatra, as a field geophysicist. In 1996 he enrolled in an M.F.A programme at Syracuse University, and later that year published his first collection of fiction short stories. In 2001, he was selected by Entertainment Weekly as one of the 100 top most creative people in entertainment, and by The New Yorker in 2002 as one of the best writers 40 and under and In 2009 received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In addition to writing, he now teaches at Syracuse University.