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Book Club: The Sellout by Paul Beatty
January 30, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Join the staff of Riverstone Bookstore for our inaugural book club meeting! Kick off your literary 2018 with a lively discussion of Paul Beatty’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel, THE SELLOUT.
Don’t forget, book club members receive 20 percent off titles for book club!
About The Sellout:
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.” 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.
About Paul Beatty:
Paul Beatty (born 1962 in Los Angeles) is a contemporary African-American author. Beatty received an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College and an MA in psychology from Boston University. He is a 1980 graduate of El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, California.
His first novel, The White Boy Shuffle, received a positive review in The New York Times. The reviewer, Richard Bernstein, called the book “a blast of satirical heat from the talented heart of black American life.” His second book, Tuff, received a positive notice in Time Magazine. Most recently, Beatty edited an anthology of African-American humor called Hokum and wrote an article in The New York Times on the same subject.