Artist Projects

The Sellout

Paul Beatty

A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, The Sellout challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant. The work tells the story of “Hominy” Jenkins, a resident of Los Angeles’s Dickens neighborhood and the last living member of the original Our Gang television show cast. As this poverty-stricken hometown’s most famous resident, Hominy is tasked go out into the world and find Dickens, its sister city. Inspired by Beatty’s work with the mentally ill as well as a range of authors, from contemporary novelist W.G. Sebald to Japanese haiku master Basho, The Sellout is about the lesser-known aspects of Los Angeles, including its enduring Wild West legacy.

Project Updates

  • 2016: The Sellout is the first American novel to win the Man Booker Prize

  • 2015: The Sellout is published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux