Jude Cook

All About Me

The Sellout

By Paul Beatty

Oneworld 288pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

‘Like that black president, you’d think … you’d get used to square watermelons, but somehow you never do,’ says Me, the disingenuous black narrator of Paul Beatty’s latest, Booker-shortlisted novel during one of his many raucous comic riffs. A resident of the anomalously named fictional Los Angeles suburb of Dickens (imagine if Slough were called Proust), Me is hauled before the Supreme Court of the United States for attempting to segregate a local school and bring back slavery. What follows is a biting attack on racism in America, relayed in a series of antic flashbacks that stylistically recall both Vonnegut and Heller, as well as the laconic register of Ellison and the demotic glide of Iceberg Slim.

Royal Shakespeare Company


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