He becomes the first American to win the prize
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.”
TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editors.