Paul Beatty’s ‘The Sellout’ wins the Man Booker prize 2016
American author Paul Beatty won the Man Booker Prize award on Tuesday for his satirical novel ‘The Sellout’ in London.
The five other books that were vying for the award were His Bloody Project, by Graeme Macrae Burnet), All that Man Is, by David Szalay, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, by Madeleine Thien, Hot Milk, by Deborah Levy, and Eileen, by Ottessa Moshfegh.
The Sellout, set in LA and which includes the fallout of the unjust shooting of an African-American at the hands of the police, was described by judges as a “novel of our times”.
According to Amanda Foreman, the chair of the judges, “The Sellout is one of those very rare books that is able to take satire, which is in itself a very difficult subject and not always done well, and it plunges into the heart of contemporary American society with absolutely savage wit of the kind I haven’t seen since Swift or Twain.”
Foreman added, “It both manages to eviscerate every social taboo and politically correct nuance, every sacred cow, while both making us laugh and wince. It is both funny and painful at the same time, and it is really a novel for our times.”
“I can’t tell you how long this journey has been,” said Beatty, who was born in 1962, in his acceptance speech. “Writing has given me a life.”
The win makes Beatty, 54, who teaches at Columbia University, the first American to be awarded the prize in its 48 year history.