The Sellout
by Paul Beatty



Publication Date: Mar 01, 2016
List Price: $16.00 (store prices may vary)
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Fiction
Page Count: 304
ISBN13: 9781250083258
Imprint: Picador
Publisher: Macmillan
Parent Company: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck

Book Description: 

The Sellout, won the Man Booker Prize on October 25, 2016. Paul Beatty is the first American to win the award.

The Sellout is also:

  • Winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction
  • Named one of the best books of 2015 by The New York Times Book Review and the Wall Street Journal

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.&rdquo 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.