Paul Beatty has become the first US author to win the Man Booker Prize with his racial satire The Sellout.
His novel tells the story of a young black man who tries to reinstate slavery and racial segregation in a suburb of Los Angeles.
Amanda Foreman, chair of the judges, said the book managed "to eviscerate every social taboo".
Beatty's win was announced at a ceremony at London's Guildhall on Tuesday.
Picking up the £50,000 prize from the Duchess of Cornwall, Beatty, 54, was clearly overwhelmed with emotion and struggled for words as he began his acceptance speech.