Man Booker Prize: George Saunders wins for Lincoln in the Bardo

George SaundersImage copyright Reuters George Saunders has won the Man Booker prize for his novel Lincoln in the Bardo - becoming the second US author to take home the £50,000 fiction award. It is the first full-length novel from Saunders, previously best known for his short stories, and is set in a graveyard, over a single night. The book tells the story of Abraham Lincoln's grief after the death of his young son, and his visits to his tomb. The Duchess of Cornwall presented his trophy at London's Guildhall. Saunders, 58, was one of six authors shortlisted for the prestigious award, alongside British writers Ali Smith and Fiona Mozley, fellow Americans Paul Auster and Emily Fridlund, and British-Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid. The Texas-born author, who lives in New York, has previously won the Folio Prize and Story Prize for his short story collection Tenth of December.Lincoln in the Bardo is his ninth book. Image copyright Reuters Image caption Shortlisted authors (left-right):Fiona Mozley, Paul Auster, Emily Fridlund, Mohsin Hamid, George Saunders and Ali Smith He based the story on a real moment in 1862 when the body of 11-year-old Willie was taken to a cemetery in Washington DC. Baroness Lola Young, chair of the 2017 judging panel, said the form of the "utterly original novel" - which includes voices of souls in the graveyard - "reveals a witty, intelligent and deeply moving narrative". It took five hours of deliberations before the panel, also including novelist Sarah Hall, artist Tom Phillips, literary critic Lila Azam Zanganeh and the travel writer Colin Thubron, made their unanimous decision. "This really stood out because of its innovation - its very different styling and the way in which it paradoxically brought to life these not-quite-dead souls in this other world," said Baroness Young. "There was this juxtaposition of the very personal tragedy of Abraham Lincoln with his public life, as the person who'd really instigated the American Civil War." Why experimental novel won the Booker Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Saunders met the Duchess of Cornwall before the ceremony Analysis by BBC arts correspondent Rebecca Jones This is initially a rather off-putting book - it's got a rather strange title and when you read the first few pages, you don't really know what's going on. It's the most experimental of the shortlisted novels, told in a multiplicity of voices.It's almost like a verbal collage. It can be quite a disconnecting experience, but stick with it because it is not only very moving, but it's also very funny. Lincoln in the Bardo is a very interesting exploration of one of America's great presidents.It's examining his private rather than public role. Because it's dealing with his dead son, it could risk becoming sentimental, but George Saunders manages to avoid that. One thing I can promise you is that you've never read a book like it.It is completely original. The shortlist was whittled down from a longlist of 15 novels that was announced in July[1]. The award has been open to US writers since 2014 and was awarded to its first American winner[2], Paul Beatty, last year. Saunders previously told Time magazine he had not set out to write about Lincoln, but that he was "so captivated by this story I'd heard years ago about him entering his son's crypt". "I thought of the book as a way of trying to instil the same reaction I'd had all those years ago." It is published by Bloomsbury, making this the third consecutive year an independent publisher has won the award. The bardo in the book's title refers to the transitional state between death and your next birth, according to Tibetan Buddhism. Man Booker prize - Who's won it before? 2016:Paul Beatty, The Sellout 2015:Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings 2014:Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North 2013:Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries 2012:Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies 2011:Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending 2010:Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question 2009:Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall 2008:Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger 2007:Anne Enright, The Gathering As well as the winner's cheque, Saunders receives a rather unique honour - Royal Mail will apply a congratulatory postmark bearing his name to millions of items of stamped mail on Wednesday and Friday. It will read:"Congratulations to George Saunders, winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize." He can also expect a spike in sales.In the week after Beatty won last year, sales of The Sellout increased by 658%. Saunders teaches at Syracuse University and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2013. 2017 Man Booker prize shortlist Image copyright Reuters Image caption Auster's 4 3 2 1 took him more than three years to write Paul Auster, 4 3 2 1 In a nutshell:A young man growing up in New Jersey in the 1950s and 60s leads four parallel lives. Judges' comment:"An ambitious, complex, epic narrative...that is essentially both human and humane." Image copyright Weidenfeld &Nicolson Emily Fridlund, History of Wolves In a nutshell:A 14-year-old girl living on a commune in the US Midwest befriends some new arrivals. Judges' comment:"A novel of silver prose and disquieting power that asks very difficult questions." Image caption Hamid is best known for his 2007 novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist Mohsin Hamid, Exit West In a nutshell:A boy and girl fall in love, move in together and consider leaving their unnamed country. Judges' comment:"A subtle, compact piece of writing about a relationship, its blossoming and digressions." Image copyright John Murray Press Image caption Fiona Mozley was one of three female writers on the shortlist Fiona Mozley, Elmet In a nutshell:A boy remembers his life in a house his father built with his bare hands in an isolated wood. Judges' comment:"Timeless in its epic mixture of violence and love, it is also timely...with no punches pulled." Image copyright Bloomsbury George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo In a nutshell:President Abraham Lincoln goes to a Georgetown cemetery to grieve following his young son's death. Judges' comment:"Daring and accomplished, this is a novel with a rare capriciousness of mind and heart." Image copyright Getty Images Image caption This is the fourth time Ali Smith has been shortlisted for the prize Ali Smith, Autumn In a nutshell:A dying 101-year-old man is watched over by his closest and only friend. Judges' comment:"An elegy for lost time, squandered beauty but also for the loss of connections." BBC Arts:Meet the Man Booker nominees[3] Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents.If you have a story suggestion email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..[4][5][6][7]

References

  1. ^ longlist of 15 novels that was announced in July (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ its first American winner (www.bbc.co.uk)
  3. ^ BBC Arts:Meet the Man Booker nominees (www.bbc.co.uk)
  4. ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  5. ^ @BBCNewsEnts (twitter.com)
  6. ^ bbcnewsents (www.instagram.com)
  7. ^ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (www.bbc.co.uk)
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Ryder Cup 2018: US still has something to prove says Jim Furyk

Ryder Cup 2016:Catch up with the final day

The US Ryder Cup team will have a "chip on their shoulder" when they defend the trophy in France next year despite their strength in depth, says captain Jim Furyk.

Furyk was speaking after a gathering, also attended by his European counterpart Thomas Bjorn, in Paris to mark a year to go before the event at Le Golf National.

He also stated he wants Tiger Woods on board as his team tries to win an away match for the first time since 1993.

Bjorn, meanwhile, claimed he is not concerned by American golf's growing reputation and said the in-form Tyrrell Hatton[1] is just the sort of player he wants in his team

The US won the Presidents Cup[2] earlier this month by thrashing their International opposition 19-11.A year earlier, they convincingly won back the Ryder Cup with a resounding 17-11 triumph.[3] at Hazeltine.

They boast some of the most potent golfing talent on the planet.

Among their number they have Open champion Jordan Spieth, US PGA winner Justin Thomas, US Open victor Brooks Koepka, world number one Dustin Johnson and Ryder Cup specialist Patrick Reed.

Four holes which defined Spieth's Open win

But Furyk believes there is still work to be done to fully restore his country's Ryder Cup reputation.

"I think as a team from the United States we still have something to prove," he told BBC Sport.

"We still have a chip on our shoulder.Right now we do hold the cup, we won it at Hazeltine, but it's been a long time since we've been able to do that here in Europe.

"I think in order to validate what we have been working on we are going to have to win on both sides of the pond."

The United States were so dominant in the recent Presidents Cup they came within a point of beating the Internationals with a day to spare.

It was a frightening display of talent, but Bjorn refuses to be intimidated.

"This morning's world rankings have 10 Europeans in the top 20," the Dane told me.

"I've got to say, European golf might never have looked stronger when it comes to world rankings.

"Yes the Americans are doing well, they did well at Hazeltine and in the Presidents Cup, but you'd expect that.It can't surprise anyone that the American team is going to be strong.

"They are going to be fierce, they are going to play some fantastic golf but I still believe that European golf is in a healthier spot than it probably ever has been.

"I think it's going to be quite close, and when I look at those numbers I get quite excited."

Ryder Cup results:2002-2016
Year &winner Result
2002 - Europe 15½-12½
2004 - Europe 18½-9½
2006 - Europe 18½-9½
2008 - United States 16½-11½
2010 - Europe 14½-13½
2012 - Europe 14½-13½
2014 - Europe 16½-11½
2016 - United States 17-11

Bjorn is delighted Hatton has made such a brilliant start to the qualifying process.The 26-year-old Englishman is celebrating back-to-back wins in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship[4] and last week's Italian Open.

"He is everything you want in a player," Bjorn said."He's aggressive, he knows what he wants, he works very hard.

"He gets out on a golf course and when things don't go his way he gets very frustrated.I can certainly relate to that in my own golf.

"But he also has the capability of getting his nose right in there when it matters.

"Holing the right putts, hitting the right shots at the right time, and when he has to hole that 15-footer to win a tournament, he does hole it.Not everyone has that."

By highlighting such qualities, Bjorn could have been talking about Woods in his prime.The 14-time major champion has not played since January after the fourth back surgery of his career.

Recent social media posts have shown signs that the 41-year-old is on the road to a full recovery.He has been hitting tee shots and given the all-clear to continue working towards a return to competitive golf.

This content will not work on your device, please check Javascript and cookies are enabled or update your browser[5]

"I think it is exciting," Furyk said."Everyone in the world of golf would like to see Tiger playing, and playing well and competitive again.

"I haven't seen him swing a golf club in so long and in the last couple of years when he did it looked very stiff."

Furyk, a former Ryder Cup partner of Woods, is encouraged by what he has seen in the most recent footage.

"He wasn't revving it up to 120mph but it was fluid, it looked like Tiger's swing of old," he said.

"I don't know how healthy he is and when he will start playing competitive golf again but I would hope and love to see him with the same exuberance.

"He's been excited to be involved in the last few teams as a vice-captain.He's been a great resource for our captains.

And Furyk made it clear he wants Woods as part of his set-up in France next September.

"A lot of the young players look up to him," he said.

"So if that could be as a player that would be great but if not I would hope he would accept that same role as a vice-captain and help out in that way."...

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References

  1. ^ in-form Tyrrell Hatton (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ won the Presidents Cup (www.bbc.co.uk)
  3. ^ 17-11 triumph. (www.bbc.co.uk)
  4. ^ Alfred Dunhill Links Championship (www.bbc.co.uk)
  5. ^ cookies are enabled (www.bbc.co.uk)
  6. ^ Sign up to get golf news sent to your phone (www.bbc.co.uk)
  7. ^ Sign up to follow golf news (www.bbc.co.uk)

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Manchester City 2-1 Napoli - BBC Sport

Gabriel Jesus scores Manchester City's second goal against Napoli

Manchester City produced another largely impressive display as they beat in-form Serie A leaders Napoli to maintain their 100% winning start to this season's Champions League.

Billed as an encounter between the two most scintillating attacking sides in Europe, City fully lived up to the hype before the break, giving their Italian rivals a brutal lesson in high-pressing, incisive football.

Goals from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus - both neat close-range finishes - looked to have set the home side on course for a handsome victory, during a first 45 minutes in which Kevin de Bruyne also struck the crossbar with a 25-yard shot.

However, Napoli battled back into the game and, despite having a Dries Mertens penalty saved by Ederson, they converted a second through Amadou Diawara's neat finish to set up a nervy final 17 minutes for the home side.

But City held out for a win that leaves them top of Group F, three points clear of Shakhtar Donetsk, who won 2-1 at Feyenoord.

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Real Madrid 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Kane
Tottenham scored their first goal against Real Madrid after failing to score in their first four encounters

Tottenham Hotspur took a big stride towards the Champions League knockout phase after forcing European champions Real Madrid to fight back for a draw in Spain.

Spurs led when Harry Kane's clever run made Madrid defender Raphael Varane divert Serge Aurier's right-wing cross into his own net.

The Spanish champions equalised before half-time when Aurier's rash challenge on Toni Kroos was punished with a penalty, Cristiano Ronaldo drilling in to extend his tally as the leading scorer in Champions League history.

The home side increased urgency immediately after the break as Spurs were pinned back, away keeper Hugo Lloris producing stunning acrobatic saves to deny Karim Benzema and Ronaldo.

However, Spurs grew back into the contest and Kane - who has been linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu this week - almost scored a winner for the Premier League side.

The England striker found himself clean through on goal with 20 minutes left, but was denied by a superb fingertip save from keeper Keylor Navas.

The result moved Tottenham ahead of Madrid at the top of Group H at the halfway stage, having now scored more away goals than their opponents.

Significantly, the English side's hopes of reaching the last 16 for only the second time were strengthened by Apoel Nicosia's 1-1 home draw against Borussia Dortmund.

Tottenham are six points clear of 2013 finalists Dortmund and Cypriot side Apoel, who have both already lost to Spurs and remain winless.

Spurs show Real maturity

Travelling to face Europe's most successful club in the imposing 90,000-capacity Bernabeu has long been a daunting experience for visiting sides.

Spurs themselves suffered a hiding there in 2011, losing 4-0 in their quarter-final first leg, but returned with boss Mauricio Pochettino urging his vibrant team - last season's Premier League runners-up - to prove they could compete with Europe's elite.

They did exactly that in a disciplined display.

Spurs, backed by almost 4,000 supporters in the Spanish capital, had been given further optimism of a positive result by Madrid's patchy home form.

Zinedine Zidane's side have only won one of their four La Liga home matches this season, struggling to find a way through teams who sit back and defend deep.

Pochettino said before kick-off it was important for his team "to be brave", illustrated by the Argentine's surprising decision to start Spain striker Fernando Llorente up front alongside talisman Harry Kane for the first time.

At times the visitors had to defend in numbers - only to be expected against a side containing so much quality - and had the moments of luck needed by any team who leave the Bernabeu with anything.

But they also wisely chose their moments to attack their illustrious hosts, showing a maturity perhaps not seen by their supporters in recent European campaigns.

A point was no less than they deserved and will give them further confidence ahead of the rematch at Wembley in a fortnight.

More to follow....

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