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Mantel, Saunders up for best-ever Booker Prize accolade

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Hilary Mantel, Canada’s Michael Ondaatje and American author George Saunders are among five contenders for the title of greatest-ever winner of the prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction.

Mantel’s Tudor saga “Wolf Hall,” Ondaatje’s multilayered romance “The English Patient” and Saunders’ Civil War-era symphony “Lincoln in the Bardo” are finalists for the Golden Man Booker Prize.

Also nominated are “In a Free State” by Trinidad-born Nobel Prize winner V.S. Naipaul and “Moon Tiger” by Britain’s Penelope Lively. The list was announced Saturday.

A panel of judges selected one book from each decade since the prize was founded in 1969. A public vote will decide the ultimate winner, to be announced July 8.

The prize was originally open to British, Irish and Commonwealth writers. Americans have been eligible since 2014.

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