George Saunders, an American author, was awarded the 2017 Man Booker Prize on Tuesday for his novel “Lincoln in the Bardo,” a fictional account on former US President Abraham Lincoln burying his 11-year-old son Willie.
Saunders, 58, was born in Texas but grew up in Chicago. He graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a degree in exploration geophysics. He worked as a field geophysicist in a camp in Sumatra, where he says his reading life started. “The game became filling up an entire suitcase with books sufficient to get me through the next two weeks of camp life,” he said. He has also worked as a doorman, a clerk at a convenience store, and at a slaughterhouse. “I’d never met a writer and so it took me awhile to realise that a person could actually write for a living,” he added.
Saunders has written three short stories collections, “Pastoralia”, “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline” and “In Persuasion Nation.” He has written a book, “Tenth of December”, a novella-length fable, “The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil”, a children’s book “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip” and a book of essays, “The Braindead Megaphone.” He’s also written two screenplays.
Saunders was named one of the 100 most creative people in the entertainment field in 2001 by Entertainment Weekly. He was also listed as one of the best writers under 40 in 2002. In 2006, he was awarded both a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2009, the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him with an Academy Award.