"They say 'pimpin' ain't easy.' Well, neither is slaveholdin'. Like children, dogs, dice, and overpromising politicians, and apparently prostitutes, slaves don't do what you tell them to do."-Paul Beatty, "The Sellout"
One of 2016's most acclaimed and provocative books, Paul Beatty's novel "The Sellout" won the Booker and a spot on the NYT Book Review's 10 best books of the year list. Set in the L.A. suburb of Dickens, "The Sellout" is a darkly funny satire of race, racism, and the myth of the post-racial dream of the Obama era. It's a book in which the unnamed narrator tries to re-segrregate schools and bring back slavery. One review below called it a minstrel show, which I don't think is fair. Beatty is self-consciously embracing certain cliches and stereotypes about race and black Americans only to demolish them. Despite its ambition and distinctive, sardonic voice, there was something about it that I found a little hard to get into, which I can't quite put my finger on. Still, I'd recommend this to anyone interested in satire and race relations. I'd also suggest watching Spike Lee's problematic, but fascinating "Bamboozled" for a similar satire of race and racism.

lukasevansherman's rating:
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