Friday, October 28, 2016

Celebrity Friday: Paul Beatty Becomes First American To Win Man Booker Prize

This week Paul Beatty became the first American writer to win the Man Booker prize, one of the most prestigious prizes in fiction for his novel, The Sellout. Amazingly, this is the second year in a row the award has been won by a Black man. Last year, Marlon James, a writer born in Jamaica won the prize for his A Brief History of Seven Killings.

Beatty, 54, is a Los Angeles resident and the Los Angeles Times reported on his win:
Paul Beatty won the 2016 Man Booker Prize for fiction for his novel “The Sellout,” a dazzling written, wickedly funny satire of race set in South Los Angeles. Beatty is the first American to win the prize, which was awarded at a black-tie ceremony in London on Tuesday. 
“I’m not going to get all dramatic, writing saved my life or anything like that,” he said from the stage, searching for words. “But writing’s given me a life.” 
The Man Booker Prize, which comes with an award of about $61,000, is one of the world’s most prestigious literary prizes. It was first presented in 1969, but Americans were not eligible until 2014. 
Last year, Jamaican-born Marlon James, who lives and teaches in Minnesota, won the prize for his novel “A Brief History of Seven Killings.”
Beatty's  The Sellout also won the 2015 National Book Critics Circle award. It's interesting that it only took a few years for an American to win the Man Booker after becoming eligible in  2014. I'm curious to hear from readers of the blog if they have read The Sellout and how good it is.

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