Novelist Paul Beatty’s savage satire on US race relations, The Sellout, was the first novel by an American to claim the Man Booker Prize, in 2016. Hailed by the judges as a work that ‘nails the reader to the cross with cheerful abandon’, the novel tells the story of an urban farmer who tries to reinstate slavery and segregation in a Los Angeles neighbourhood. ABC RN’s Michael Cathcart chats to Paul about the knife edge he walks in making fun of race relations in America.
Paul Beatty (International)
In 2016 Paul Beatty became the first American to be awarded the Man Booker Prize. His winning book, The Sellout, also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. The darkly comic novel chronicles an urban farmer who tries to spearhead a revitalisation of slavery and segregation in a fictional Los Angeles neighbourhood. Beatty began his career as a poet before turning his hand to fiction with White Boy Shuffle, followed by Tuff and Slumberland. He is also the editor of Hokum, an anthology of African-American humour.
Michael Cathcart (Australian)
Michael Cathcart is the presenter of Books and Arts, the daily national arts program broadcast by ABC RN. In a former life, Michael taught Australian history at the University of Melbourne. He has presented several history documentaries for ABC TV and is the author of The Water Dreamers which was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Prize for non-fiction. His most recent book is Starvation in a Land of Plenty a history of the Burke and Wills expedition and its interactions with the Yandruwandha people of Cooper Creek.