Man Booker Prize Winner 2016

The Sellout

Paul Beatty


14th January 2019

7:00 pm

at il libro

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The novel begins with the narrator Bonbon on trial at the Supreme Court. His opening line: “This may be hard to believe, coming from a black man, but I’ve never stolen anything.” What he is actually on trial for is trying to reinstitute slavery and segregation in his Los Angeles suburb, Dickens.

Bonbon was raised by a single father, a thoughtful man who specialises in quietly calming down angry black men. After his father is shot dead by police, Bonbon is on his own. Consumed by guilt and anger, he takes on an ageing black actor and makes him his slave. The twisted logic is that to become successful, he needs to become “white”, and to do that he must first dominate another black person.

A biting satire, a funny and daring novel that subverts harmful cultural assumptions.


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