Paul Beatty is First American to Win The Man Booker Prize

By Sameer Rao Oct 26, 2016

A celebrated Black author made history yesterday (October 25) by becoming the first American to win The Man Booker Prize for literature. 


Paul Beatty received the British literary prize during a ceremony in London. The judging panel awarded him for his novel "The Sellout," a satire about a Black man appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court for his attempts to reinstate slavery. "This is a book that nails the reader to the cross with cheerful abandon," historian and judging panel chair Amanda Foreman said about the work. "That is why the book works—because while you’re being nailed, you’re being tickled."

"I’m just trying to create space for myself—hopefully that creates space for others," Beatty said, regarding the win.

The Man Booker Prize, valued at about $61,000 U.S. dollars, was only open to writers from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Commonwealth countries until 2014. Jamaican author Marlon James won the award last year for his novel, "A Brief History of Seven Killings."

(H/t The Root, NBC News)