novelRomanA young black farmer in Los Angeles tries to reintroduce slavery and segregationRassentrennungsegregation into the part of the city where he lives. This is the story of Paul Beatty’s 2015 book The Sellout, for which he has become the first American author to win the £50,000 Man Booker Prize.
Beatty, who is black — he prefers the word “black” to “African American” — said when he accepted the prize in London last year: “This is a hard book. It was hard for me to write; I know it’s hard to read. Everyone’s coming at it from different angleBlickwinkelangles.”
The author was born in Los Angeles in 1962. He moved to Boston when he was 17 and later to New York City. He has degreeDiplom, Abschlussdegrees in psychology and creative writing. He began writing poetry in his mid 20s and, in 1990, won the first Grand Poetry Slam at New York’s Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
Writing’s given me a life
One of the prizes for winning the poetry slam was a book deal, which Beatty used to start publishing his verse. After two books of poetry, he wrote four novelRomannovels, including The Sellout, which he says took him five years or more to complete.
The day after accepting the Man Booker Prize, Beatty told the BBC: “Writing’s given me a life. It’s nice to know that something I’ve worked on for the last five years, if not more, has touched people, not only in the States but in the UK. That’s incredible.