11.03.2017 - Paul Beatty

Last year, for the first time in history, an American author won the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Ficton. With the book The Sellout, the judges compared author Paul Beatty with literature icons Mark Twain and Jonathan Swift, although at first it was a hard sell and Beatty was turned down about 18 times.

Was the fictive story of a young Afro-American whose father gets shot to death after a dispute with the police ‘too hot to handle’, like The Guardian wonders. The 54-year old Beatty exposes the United States of America of the 21st centry in every aspect, without mercy for anyone or anything. And that is discomforting or even confronting. After a small, independant publisher took it up, Beatty’s word was spread and it finally became clear how powerful his unique mixture of cynism and optimism, comedy and tragedy is. Especially in turbulent times like these.

Paul Beatty will be interviewed by Fiep van Bodegom. The Sellout is translated to Dutch as De Verrader and published by Prometheus.