Amerikan tilldelades Man Booker Prize 2016

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Paul Beatty – The Sellout (Oneworld)

Oneworld gav ut förra årets vinnare av Man Booker Prize, A Brief History of Seven Killings av Marlon James. Och det är Oneworld som ger ut årets vinnare i Storbritannien, The Sellout av Paul Beatty, som var en av kritikernas absoluta favoriter i USA 2015.

Kommenterade juryns ordförande: ”The Sellout is a novel for our times. A tirelessly inventive modern satire, its humour disguises a radical seriousness. Paul Beatty slays sacred cows with abandon and takes aim at racial and political taboos with wit, verve and a snarl.”

Oneworlds beskrivning: ”A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court,The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game.

Born in Dickens on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in his father’s racially charged psychological studies. He is told that his father’s work will lead to a memoir that will solve their financial woes. But when his father is killed in a drive-by shooting, he discovers there never was a memoir. All that’s left is a bill for a drive-through funeral.

What’s more, Dickens has literally been wiped off the map to save California from further embarrassment. Fuelled by despair, the narrator sets out to right this wrong with the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.

In his trademark absurdist style, which has the uncanny ability to make readers want to both laugh and cry,The Sellout is an outrageous and outrageously entertaining indictment of our time.”

Kritikerna har hyllat romanen som sällsynt komisk och en av de främsta satirerna på länge, men Beatty själv tycker inte att boken främst är humoristisk och han ställer sig frågande till etiketten satir. Men det är så de flesta verkar läsa den.

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Citerat ur Dwight Garners recension i New York Times: ”The first 100 pages of his new novel, ‘The Sellout,’ are the most caustic and the most badass first 100 pages of an American novel I’ve read in at least a decade. I gave up underlining the killer bits because my arm began to hurt.”

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Citerat ur intervju i The Paris Review:

”Do you think of yourself as a writer of satire?

No, not at all. In my head it would limit what I could do, how I could write about something. I’m just writing. Some of it’s funny. I’m surprised that everybody keeps calling this a comic novel. I mean, I get it. But it’s an easy way not to talk about anything else. I would better understand it if they talked about it in a hyphenated way, to talk about it as a tragicomic novel, even. There’s comedy in the book, but there’s a bunch of other stuff in there, too.”

Ola Wihlke