Paul Beatty’s The Sellout has won the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the prize announced Tuesday. Beatty, whose book is a satire about race in the U.S., is the first American to win the award.
“The Sellout is a novel for our times,” Amanda Foreman, 2016 Chair of judges, said in a statement. “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.”
Beatty was among the six finalists who awaited to hear the results Tuesday in London. Madeleine Thien (Do Not Say We Have Nothing), David Szalay (All That Man Is), Graeme Macrae Burnet (His Bloody Project), Deborah Levy (Hot Milk), and Ottessa Moshfegh (Eileen) were the other final nominees.
As the winner, Beatty receives a $66,400 cash prize as well as the honor of being given one of the greatest awards in the literary community. Previous winners include The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton in 2013 and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel in 2012.
The longlist, which was announced back in July, also included J.M. Coetzee’s The Schooldays of Jesus, A.L. Kennedy’s Serious Sweet, Ian McGuire’s The North Water, David Means Hystopia, Wyl Menmuir’s The Many, Virginia Reeves’ Work Like Any Other, and Elizabeth Strout’s My Name Is Lucy Barton.