Novelist Paul Beatty has won the Man Booker prize for The Sellout, his deeply satirical novel about race in our country. Great news, and congratulations to Beatty. This is the third year the prize has been open to writers of any nationality, and Beatty is the first American author to take it.
Before there was a Seattle Review of Books, co-founder Paul Constant reviewed the book for our good friends over at Seattlish:
The Sellout is a novel that reads, basically, like one very long, very racist joke. That’s almost certainly part of its design. Its author, Paul Beatty, wrote the very funny novel The White Boy Shuffle, and he also edited Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. In 2015, you can understand how a book with this premise could be a hard sell; the fact that the cover’s sole visual element is a repeated image of a lawn jockey about the size of a Polo Ralph Lauren logo embroidered on a shirt probably doesn’t help matters, either.
You can read the whole thing here.