On Point Archives: George Saunders, Man Booker Prize Winner

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The author George Saunders won the Man Booker literary prize on Tuesday for his first novel, "Lincoln in the Bardo."

Author and novelist George Saunders. (Courtesy the Author)
Author and novelist George Saunders. (Courtesy the Author)

Saunders, a professor at Syracuse University who is best known as a short story writer, visited On Point in March, talking about grief, death and Abraham Lincoln.

"Lincoln in the Bardo" imagines the president spending a night in a cemetery, grieving over the death of his young son, Willie.

"It's funny to be working on this book for four years, every day you had an occasion to go into your office and play around with the idea of death," Saunders told host Tom Ashbrook. "But I don't think I'm any more ready for it than I was."

He added: "Over the process I realized it's a fairly healthy thing to think about it every now and then. Maybe even every day. This is the game we're in. It's a beautiful life full of so much joy, but everything is conditional — everything, everything comes to an end. Just to kind of to turn your mind to that every now and again, that's about as far as I can go with it."

Listen to the whole interview by clicking the orange "play" button above. 


George Saunders, author and writer. Professor creative writing at Syracuse University. Author of the new novel, "Lincoln in the Bardo." Also author of "Tenth of December," "CivilWarLand In Bad Decline" and "The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip."

Read An Excerpt Of "Lincoln In The Bardo" By George Saunders

This segment aired on March 27, 2017.


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