Dickens, an “agrarian ghetto,” is the fictional Los Angeles hood at the center of Paul Beatty’s scathingly satirical novel, The Sellout. It’s a book that, as poet Kevin Young writes in his perceptive New York Times review, “isn’t for the fainthearted.” Beatty — the first American novelist to win the coveted Man Booker Award — is a comic genius at the top of his game and in The Sellout, he dares to question almost every received notion about American society. Buckle your seat belts.
Paul Beatty is the author of three novels—Slumberland, Tuff, and The White Boy Shuffle—and two books of poetry: Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He is the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. In 2016, he became the first American to win the Man Booker Prize for his latest novel, The Sellout. He lives in New York City.
Dana Johnson is the author of the short story collection In the Not Quite Dark. She is also the author of the novel Elsewhere, California and Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, Callaloo, The Iowa Review and Huizache, among others. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is a professor of English at the University of Southern California.