Paul Beatty
Author Paul Beatty poses for photographs during a photo-call in London for the six Man Booker shortlisted fiction authors, on the eve of the prize giving in London, Britain October 24, 2016.Reuters

Paul Beatty on Tuesday became the first author from the United States to win the Man Booker Prize 2016 for his novel The Sellout.

Man Booker Prize is the most prestigious award for English-language literature. Beatty won the literary award for his use of satire on racial politics in the US and the jury on the panel said that the novel put Beatty in the league of Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain.

Beatty's £50,000 win was announced at a black tie dinner at London's Guidhall. The judges said that Beatty, through his novel, had portrayed a "shocking and unexpectedly funny" side of his native place Los Angeles. They also added that The Sellout adeptly uses satire to explore radical equality in a fictional neighbourhood.

Historian Amanda Foreman, who chaired this year's judging panel, called the literary piece "a novel of our times," particularly for the Black Lives Matter movement in America.

"The Sellout is one of those very rare books: which is able to take satire, which is a very difficult subject and not always done well, and plunges it into the heart of contemporary American society with a savage wit of the kind I haven't seen since Swift or Twain.

"It manages to eviscerate every social taboo and politically correct nuance, every sacred cow. While making us laugh, it also makes us wince. It is both funny and painful at the same time," Foreman said.

Beatty was overcome with emotion while accepting the award and said, "I can't tell you guys how long a journey this has been for me...I don't want to get all dramatic, like writing saved my life ... but writing has given me a life."

Beatty also recounted how his college professor once told him that he would never be a successful writer. The author said the journey has been difficult for him.

"I don't like writing. It's hard. You've got to sit down ... I'm a perfectionist, I guess, and I get easily disgruntled and discouraged with what I'm doing. I am really hard with myself and I tend to sabotage myself, but when I'm writing I try not to do that, I try to be in the moment, to be confident."

Beatty's The Sellout is his fourth novel and it also won the National Book Critics Circle Award earlier this year in the United States.