The Sellout: A Novel
A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the... show more
A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality--the black Chinese restaurant.Born in the "agrarian ghetto" of Dickens--on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles--the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: "I'd die in the same bedroom I'd grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that've been there since '68 quake." Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father's pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family's financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that's left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral.Fuelled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town's most famous resident--the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins--he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.
Publish date: 2015-03-03
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English
, African American
, 21st Century
I won’t pretend that I understood the whole book. Every sentence demanded reflection, as every sentence was ambiguous, filled with double entendres and puns, some of which I did not quite comprehend immediately, and some I never quite understood. Still, written with wit and charm, eloquence and flui...
Regrettably, I'm running way behind on my Man Booker reads for this year. Only twelve days remain until the prize is awarded and I still have four books to go. I doubt I'll be able to get through them all, but I'm still making an attempt to do so.Of the six contenders, The Sellout was the title I le...
Paul Beatty’s searingly caustic and smart satire, The Sellout, begins with the unnamed narrator about to appear before the Supreme Court for unspecified crimes against the Constitution. After the prologue, the narrator takes us back to his childhood before showing how he ended up with a slave and se...