Paul Beatty, the 54-year-old author, has earned the 2016 Man Booker Prize for his latest book, The Sellout.

Paul Beatty Wins Man Booker Prize

Classified as satire, The Sellout is set in a quiet suburb in Los Angeles. The story revolves around a young adult who is trying to give slavery and segregation the resurgence they need. The man in question is named Bonbon and he is, of course, black.

Beatty’s victory was announced on Tuesday, and he seemed startled as he was accepting his prize, £50,000. Beatty, during his speech, noted that he hates writing, and that The Sellout is a hard book. “It was a hard for me to write, I know it’s hard to read. Everyone’s coming at it from different angles,” Beatty acknowledged.

Beatty’s book was one of six being considered for the prize, and according to chair of the judges Amanda Foreman, deliberations took the committee approximately four hours. They were all in agreement with the decision. Foreman spoke highly of The Sellout, describing it as “reminiscent of Jonathan Swift or Mark Twain.”

Beatty was the first author from the United States to win the Man Booker Prize, although other American authors have earned the smaller Booker International Prize.

The following morning, Beatty was a guest on BBC Breakfast and he took the opportunity to reveal how profoundly moved he was.

“Writing’s given me a life,” he said. Beatty also mentioned his joy at seeing his book, which he spent at least five years writing, resonate with people across the United States and United Kingdom. “That’s incredible.”

He realized when he was doing a reading of his novel at a college in Maryland that he had produced something special. He was in disbelief at how seamlessly everything flowed from his imagination to the paper.

The Sellout is Beatty’s forth novel, although he appears to need some time off from creating literature. Seemingly exhausted, he isn’t working on another book at the moment.

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