#DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Adult Award-Winning Books Features Lifespan of a Reader Literary Fiction Reading Themes Saturday Reads

[Saturday Reads] #DecolonizeBookshelves2022 – Tragic Humor in Paul Beatty’s “The Sellout”

"That's the problem with history, we like to think it's a book - that we can turn the page and move the fuck on. But history isn't the paper it's printed on. It's memory, and memory is time, emotions, and song. History is the things that stay with you." - Paul Beatty.


Myra here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.

The Sellout [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Paul Beatty Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux (2015) ISBN: 0374260508 (ISBN13: 9780374260507) Literary Awards: Booker Prize (2016), Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize Nominee for Comic Fiction (2016), National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction (2015), Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Nominee for Fiction (2016), International Dublin Literary Award Nominee (2017), The Rooster — The Morning News Tournament of Books (2016). Book was given as a gift. Book photos taken by me.

This is the eighth book that I am reviewing / featuring as part of our #DecolonizeBookshelves2022 reading theme from my target list of 25 books (for this year) from This Is The Canon: Decolonize Your Bookshelf In 50 Books (Amazon | Book Depository) – and the second novel written by a male author.

My book log indicates that I started reading the book on April 18 and finished it on May 12 – almost a month. In fact, I have read two other novels while trying to finish this one. Thus far, the male authors I have been reading as part of This Is The Canon have not been resonating with me at all. Here is just an excerpt of what I have written down in my jotted notes:

While supposedly clever (and admittedly it is), it was an angry book with its dark comedic humor. It felt like Will Smith slapping Chris Rock in the face kind of humor where the audience/reader gave the obligatory laughter like a prize, all the while wondering what in hell is happening, the discomfort never leaving you – because the puns are relentless, savage, on point – and ultimately, sad.

At any rate, I am glad I finished reading it, and happy to move on to the next novel.

#DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Update: 51 out of target 100

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

2 comments on “[Saturday Reads] #DecolonizeBookshelves2022 – Tragic Humor in Paul Beatty’s “The Sellout”

  1. Pingback: #DecolonizeBookshelves2022 Reading Round-Up – Gathering Books

  2. Pingback: [Saturday Reading | #DecolonizeReading2023] Revolutionary Entrepreneurship (and Absolution?) in Aravind Adiga’s “The White Tiger” – Gathering Books

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