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Paul Beatty’s The Sellout Wins the Man Booker Prize

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS—AFP/Getty Images US author Paul Beatty poses for a photograph at a photocall in London on October 24, 2016, ahead of the announcement of the winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Sarah Begley is a staff writer for TIME.

He becomes the first American to win the prize

The winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize was announced Tuesday, bringing fame, glory and £50,000 ($61,000) to Paul Beatty for his novel The Sellout.

Beatty is the first American to win the prize, which was once limited to writers from the Commonwealth, Ireland and Zimbabwe, but since 2013 has been open to any author published in the English language in the U.K. The book satirizes race issues in America, focusing on a man whose woes (among them: the death of his father and gentrification) prompt him to bring back slavery and resegregate the school in his hometown.

“This is a book that nails the reader to the cross with cheerful abandon,” said Amanda Foreman, the chair of the judges. “But while you are being nailed you are being tickled.”

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