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The Sellout by Paul Beatty
  

The Sellout

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Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2016.

Amanda Foreman, 2016 Chair of judges, comments: ‘The Sellout is a novel for our times. A tirelessly inventive modern satire, its humour disguises a radical seriousness. Paul Beatty slays sacred cows with abandon and takes aim at racial and political taboos with wit, verve and a snarl.’

Shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2016.

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2016. A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game.

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Synopsis

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

The Sellout is a searing satire on race relations in contemporary America. The Sellout is described by The New York Times as a ‘metaphorical multicultural pot almost too hot to touch’, whilst the Wall Street Journal called it a ‘Swiftian satire of the highest order. Like someone shouting fire in a crowded theatre, Mr. Beatty has whispered “Racism” in a postracial world.’

The book is narrated by African-American ‘Bonbon’, a resident of the run-down town of Dickens in Los Angeles county, which has been removed from the map to save California from embarrassment. Bonbon is being tried in the Supreme Court for attempting to reinstitute slavery and segregation in the local high school as means of bringing about civic order. What follows is a retrospective of this whirlwind scheme, populated by cartoonish characters who serve to parody racial stereotypes. The framework of institutional racism and the unjust shooting of Bonbon’s father at the hands of police are particularly topical.

Reviews

'The most caustic and the most badass first 100 pages of an American novel I've read in at least a decade.'
Dwight Garner, New York Times

'Swiftian satire of the highest order... Giddy, scathing and dazzling.'
Wall Street Journal

'Brilliant. Amazing. Like demented angels wrote it.'
Sarah Silverman

About the Author

Paul Beatty

Paul Beatty is the author of three novels - Slumberland, Tuff and The White Boy Shuffle - and two books of poetry: Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He is the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. He lives in New York City.

Author photo © Hannah Assouline

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Book Info

Publication date

5th May 2016

Author

Paul Beatty

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Publisher

Oneworld Publications

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781786070159

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