The Sellout

Paul Beatty. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-374-26050-7
Beatty’s satirical latest (after Slumberland) is a droll, biting look at racism in modern America. At the novel’s opening, its narrator, a black farmer whose last name is Me, has been hauled before the Supreme Court for keeping a slave and reinstituting racial segregation in Dickens, an inner-city neighborhood in Los Angeles inexplicably zoned for agrarian use. When Dickens is erased from the map by gentrification, Me hatches a modest proposal to bring it back by segregating the local school. While his logic may be skewed, there is a perverse method in his madness; he is aided by Hominy, a former child star from The Little Rascals, who insists that Me take him as his slave. Beatty gleefully catalogues offensive racial stereotypes but also reaches further, questioning what exactly constitutes black identity in America. Wildly funny but deadly serious, Beatty’s caper is populated by outrageous caricatures, and its damning social critique carries the day. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 03/03/2015
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-374-71224-2
Paperback - 304 pages
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-3467-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-5366-4953-6
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