ADVANTAGES

This year, Jesmyn Ward’s brutal Sing, Unburied, Sing was mentioned in the greatest number of lists. Ward’s novel is about a mixed-race family in Mississippi: Leonie, an addict struggling to keep her family together; Jojo, a straight-laced 13-year-old wary of his mother; and the ghosts that haunt them. George Saunders’s polyphonic Lincoln in the Bardo, another multiple-point-of-view-including-some-ghosts novel, was just behind her. His book takes place in the crypt of Willie Lincoln, the son of US president Abraham Lincoln, who died when he was 11. Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West, about two migrant refugees in love and on the run, was another fiction contender for most mentions.

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