US author George Saunders favorite to win Man Booker Prize

FILE - In this April 23, 2013 file photo, writer George Saunders attends the TIME 100 Gala celebrating the "100 Most Influential People in the World" in New York. American author George Saunders is favored to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction with his novel of the afterlife, "Lincoln in the Bardo." Bookmakers Ladbrokes and William Hill made Saunders the front-runner among six titles vying for the 50,000 pound ($66,000) prize. The winner will be announced Oct. 17, 2017. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

LONDON — American author George Saunders is favored to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction with his novel of the afterlife, "Lincoln in the Bardo," according to British bookmakers.

Bookmakers Ladbrokes and William Hill made Saunders the front-runner among six finalists announced Wednesday for the 50,000-pound ($66,000) prize. His novel is set in a Washington graveyard, where President Abraham Lincoln visits the body of his 11-year-old son in 1862.

Three British and three American authors make up the finalists. They range from 29-year-old first-time novelist Fiona Mozley to 70-year old New York icon Paul Auster.

Alongside "Lincoln in the Bardo," the contenders authored by Americans are "4321," Auster's story of parallel lives, and Emily Fridlund's Midwest coming-of-age tale "History of Wolves."

The other finalists are British-Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid's migration story "Exit West," Scottish novelist Ali Smith's Brexit-themed "Autumn" and "Elmet," Mozley's novel about a fiercely independent family under threat.

The judging panel culled books by several big names from the 13-novel longlist announced in July, including Zadie Smith's "Swing Time," Colson Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad" and "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness" by previous Booker winner Arundhati Roy.

The prize, subject to intense speculation and a flurry of betting, usually brings the victor a huge boost in sales and profile.

Founded in 1969 and originally open only to writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth, the Booker expanded in 2014 to include all English-language authors. The first American winner was Paul Beatty's "The Sellout" in 2016.

The change spurred fears among some British writers and publishers that Americans would come to dominate a prize whose previous winners include Salman Rushdie, Ben Okri, Margaret Atwood and Hilary Mantel.

House of Lords member Lola Young, the judging panel's chairwoman, said "nationality is not an issue" in the group's deliberations.

"We judge the books that are submitted to us," Young said. "We make our judgment based not on anybody's nationality or their gender or anything else, other than what is written on those pages."

Thirty percent of the 144 books submitted by publishers for consideration were American, a figure slightly down from last year.

The winner will be announced Oct. 17 during a ceremony in London's medieval Guildhall, after the five judges meet for a final time.

Young said discussion had been "robust," but there had been "no fights — yet."

You may also interested in

At 93, legendary climber Fred Beckey still...

Aug 13, 2016

Legendary Seattle climber Fred Beckey is the focus of a new documentary film about his life

Kenny Baker, who played R2-D2 in 'Star Wars,'...

Aug 13, 2016

Kenny Baker, the 3-foot 8-inch (1.1 meter) actor who played R2-D2 in the "Star Wars" films, has died

Larry Wilmore-hosted 'Nightly Show' axed by...

Aug 15, 2016

Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" is coming to an end

NBC audience soars with first full week of...

Aug 16, 2016

With blanket coverage of the Rio Games all last week, NBC had the ratings game all to itself in...

Brian Williams to anchor late campaign newscast...

Aug 16, 2016

MSNBC's Brian Williams is getting a regular time slot, at least for a couple of months

People also read these

After storm halts tribute, A-Rod doubles in...

Aug 13, 2016

His pregame tribute ended by a storm, Alex Rodriguez began his final game with the New York Yankees...

Stellan Skarsgard proud of his sons for being...

Aug 15, 2016

Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard feels that his sons are talented actors, but it's more important to...

Court rejects Cosby's attempt to reseal testimony...

Aug 15, 2016

A federal appeals court has rejected Bill Cosby's effort to reseal his deposition testimony about...

Pew report shows divide in social media exposure...

Aug 15, 2016

The Pew Research Center found that black social media users are nearly twice as likely to see posts...

'Fun Home' national tour will be led by an...

Aug 16, 2016

A national tour of the groundbreaking Broadway musical "Fun Home" will be led by some theater...

About Us

Buzz Online Daily brings to you the trendy and up-to-date viral news, entertainment news, and local breaking news exclusively to our dedicated readers.

Contact us: sales@buzzonlinedaily.com

Subscribe Now!