Read an Extract from Man Booker Winner and Foyles' Book of the Year, The Sellout by Paul Beatty
30th September 2016 - Paul Beatty
Read an Extract from our Foyles Book of the Year and Man Booker-winning novel, The Sellout
Paul Beatty is the author of the novels Slumberland, Tuff, The White Boy Shuffle and The Sellout, which has won the Man Booker Prize 2016 and has been selected as Foyles' Book of the Year for 2016. He is also the author of two books of poetry, Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce, and is the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. He lives in New York City.
Born in Dickens on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in his father's racially charged psychological studies. He is told that his father's work will lead to a memoir that will solve their financial woes.
But when his father is killed in a drive-by shooting, he discovers there never was a memoir. All that's left is a bill for a drive-through funeral. What's more, Dickens has literally been wiped off the map to save California from further embarrassment.
Fuelled by despair, the narrator sets out to right this wrong with the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.
In his trademark absurdist style, which has the uncanny ability to make readers want to both laugh and cry, The Sellout is an outrageous and outrageously entertaining indictment of our time.
Read an extract here.
Author photo © Hannah Assouliine