The Sellout is a 2015 novel by Paul Beatty published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and in the UK by Oneworld Publications in 2016. The novel takes place in and around Los Angeles, California, and concerns a protagonist who grows artisanal marijuana and watermelons. Beatty has stated his motivation for writing the novel was that "[he] was broke".
In October 2016, it won the 2016 Man Booker Prize, making Beatty the first US writer to win that award. Historian Amanda Foreman, chair of the judges, said:
"The Sellout is one of those very rare books that is able to take satire, which is in itself a very difficult subject and not always done well, and it plunges into the heart of contemporary American society and, with absolutely savage wit, of the kind I haven't seen since Swift or Twain, both manages to eviscerate every social taboo and politically correct, nuanced, every sacred cow, and while both making us laugh, making us wince. It is both funny and painful at the same time and it is really a novel of our times."
About the Author
Paul Beatty (born June 9, 1962) is an American author and an associate professor of writing at Columbia University. In 2016, he won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sellout. It was the first time a writer from the United States was honored with the Man Booker.