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Mantel, Saunders up for best-ever Booker Prize accolade

Last Updated May 26, 2018 at 3:20 pm EDT

In this combination photo, from left from Oct. 16, 20012, author Hilary Mantel, poses in London after being announced the winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, author Michael Ondaatje poses at Coach House Books in Toronto April 20, 1999 and author George Saunders of the United States poses in London with his book 'Lincoln in the Bardo' on Oct. 17, 2017. 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, it was reported on Saturday, May 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, Kevin Frayer via Canadian Press/ Kirsty Wigglesworth)

LONDON – 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.