Paul Beatty Author of “Sellout” Wins Man Booker Prize and Makes History

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Paul Beatty wins the Man Booker prize for his book “Sellout” and makes history as he becomes the first ever American author to win the prize.

Paul Beatty who is now age 54, grew up in Southern California with his two sisters and mother. As a nurse and a painter, his mother exposed the children to novels by Saul Bellow and Joseph Heller. Beatty started writing hip-hop infused poetry in his mid-20s and he later turned to writing fiction when in 1996, he published his debut novel, “The White Boy Shuffle,” about a black surfer in Los Angeles.

According to the New York Times, “Much Beatty’s writing explores recurring themes: human psychology, racial identity and our inability to escape the lingering effects of history.”

“In “The Sellout,” Mr. Beatty, who lives in New York, amplified those themes, and took gleefully irreverent stances by poking fun at the civil rights movement and Black History Month. In the acknowledgments, he says he drew inspiration from the work of the psychologist William Cross, in particular his paper “The Negro to Black Conversion Experience,” which was published in 1971.”

Those who might find the excessive use of the N-word and are easily offended by stereotypes, will probably find the book a bit tough to read. However, critics such as Kirkus Reviews give the book a positive review.

For his blistering satire about race in America and as the winner of the Man Booker Prize, Beatty was awarded the equivalent of $61,000 prize money by Prince Charles’ wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, during a black-tie ceremony at London’s medieval Guildhall, reports FOX News.

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The Man Booker Prize originated in 1969 as a prize only open to British writers and writers from Ireland and the Commonwealth. In 2014, the prize opened up to include all English-language authors.

Read the NY Times review on “Sellout.”

Watch Paul Beatty Reads “The Sellout”

Watch The Sellout by Paul Beatty | Book Review

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