An American has won the prestigious Man Booker fiction prize for the first time. Paul Beatty was presented the award by the Duchess of Cornwall in London for his novel “The Sellout”.
It’s a story of a young black man who tries to reinstate slavery and racial segregation in a suburb of Los Angeles.
Critics have describes it as “a smart satire”, brave and funny which takes a bit of getting into but once there, you don’t want to leave”.
This is the third year that the £50,000 (56,000 euros)prize has been open to writers of any nationality.
Born in Los Angeles in 1962, Beatty’s three previous novels are Slumberland, Tuff and The White Boy Shuffle. He now lives in New York.
In its 48-year history, the prize has gone to authors including Salman Rushdie, Hilary Mantel and Margaret Atwood.
Three years ago the rules were changed to cover any novel written in English, regardless of the writer’s nationality, and published in Britain.
Previously it was confined largely to authors from the Commonwealth.