The American short story writer George Saunders has won the 2017 Man Booker prize for fiction, one of the most prestigious literary awards, for his first full-length novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, a captivating story about Abraham Lincoln and the death of his eleven year old son. Accepting the prize, the 58-yearold Texan-born author noted: “We live in a strange time, so the question at the heart of the matter is pretty simple. Do we respond to fear with exclusion and negative projection and violence? Or do we take that ancient great leap of faith and do our best to respond with love? And with faith in the idea that what seems other is actually not other at all, but just us on a different day.” The author of six collections of short stories, Saunders came to writing relatively late, initially training as a geophysicist. His first collection was published in 1996. Last year’s winner was Paul Beatty for his novel “The Sellout”. It was the first time a writer from the United States was honored with the Man Booker prize after eligibility rules were changed to allow writers of any nationality writing in the English language and published in the UK.