Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Sellout by Paul Beatty

The Sellout
by Paul Beatty
  The narrator of the book is an African-American man being charged with slavery in his home and with bringing back segregation. Paul Beatty uses satire with such skill that he’ll make a pop culture reference that almost makes you laugh aloud, followed by the wind-down to the pitch that has you in tears. He can do so within a paragraph, and does many times. It brings its readers out of our comfort zone and leaves us examining ourselves anew with a fresh assessment of stereotypes we carry unknowingly.

While the narrator tries to put his hometown of Dickens, California back on the map, he works with his friend Hominy, who tells everyone about his heyday of being part of the Little Rascals cast. The narrator is also still trying to make his late father proud, after his father used the narrator as his subject in many psychological studies the reader will recognize; unfortunately, the father didn’t have an ethics committee limiting him to what he subjected his young son.

I think that besides an incredible work of satire, this book would be a wonderful book club selection, as it will inspire conversation about race, while also demonstrating in the book what happens when we don’t have those conversations. The Sellout is the winner of the Man Booker Prize for 2016, for best English-language novel published in the U.K., the first time a writer from the United States has been honored with The Booker Prize.

( publisher’s official The Sellout web page ) | ( Wikipedia page for Paul Beatty )

Recommended by Jodi R.
Gere Branch Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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