The Sellout by Paul Beatty has been named winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. The 54-year-old is the first American author to win the prize in its 48-year history. US authors only became eligible in 2014. The 2016 shortlist included two British, two US, one Canadian and one British-Canadian writer.
The Sellout is described as a searing satire on race relations in contemporary America. The New York Times called it a “metaphorical multicultural pot almost too hot to touch,” whilst the Wall Street Journal called it a “Swiftian satire of the highest order. Like someone shouting fire in a crowded theatre, Mr. Beatty has whispered ‘Racism’ in a postracial world.”
Watch a apart of Beatty’s interview with Today News:
Amanda Foreman, 2016 Chair of judges, said: “The Sellout is a novel for our times. A tirelessly inventive modern satire, its humour disguises a radical seriousness. Paul Beatty slays sacred cows with abandon and takes aim at racial and political taboos with wit, verve and a snarl.”
In addition to his £50,000 prize and trophy, Beatty also receives a designer bound edition of his book and a further £2,500 for being shortlisted.
We’ve requested our copy of The Sellout and will post a review soon.
Image of Paul Beatty from Oneworld Publications.