Paul Beatty's acceptance speech
The first American winner of the prize and the second in a row for the small independent publisher Oneworld. Paul Beatty triumphed with a satire about race relations in the US.
The Sellout, which took five years to write, is a novel shot through with humour – even though its protagonist is on trial for trying to reinstate slavery and segregation. Beatty, a poetry-slam champion and editor of a book on African-American humour, later confessed to feeling concerned that the comedy might obscure his serious theme about racial injustice.
He needn’t have worried; in the light of Black Lives Matter, the novel looks ever more prescient.
Winner The Booker Prize 2016
By Paul Beatty
By Deborah Levy
By David Szalay
In the first video below, hear the judges discuss the creation and significance of 2016’s shortlist.
Below that, is a video featuring the highlights of that year’s ceremony including moments from the winning author’s acceptance speech.