Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 87: Paul Beatty, The Sellout

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This week’s episode is sponsored by 21st Century Prose, a new book series run by the University of Michigan and edited by Matthew Vollmer. The books in the series defy easy genre classification, and you can read them for free online. Though paperback and hardback versions are also available for purchase; if you do buy one of the books, use offer code “bookfight” to get 30% off your order.

Okay, this week’s book is a Tom pick, the newest novel by Paul Beatty, which has been getting glowing reviews from all corners. The Sellout is a comedy about an African American man in a small agrarian town near Los Angeles who re-introduces slavery and segregation and whose case eventually winds its way to the Supreme Court. We talk about the book’s argument, and how to classify its often absurdist humor. We also discuss the effects of satire, in a rather fractured media landscape, and wonder if it can still change people’s opinions or perceptions.


In the second half of the show, we’ve got another installment of Fan Fiction Corner. This time, Mike has found some fanfic detailing Barack Obama’s fantasy love life. You can read the entire story, “A Princess for the President,” here. Though be forewarned: there is some graphic (and very weird) content.

You can learn more about the Hound Tall Discussion Series, with Moshe Kasher, here. You can learn more about public transportation by standing on the corner and waiting for the bus to come. Presumably, one will show up eventually.

We’re always happy to hear what you think about the things we discussed on the show. You can email us directly, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. Also: we’re now on Facebook! So come visit us over there, where we’ll post occasional photos and show notes, and maybe preview upcoming features.


Download Episode 87 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening!


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

One thought on “Episode 87: Paul Beatty, The Sellout

  1. Pingback: 2015: The Book Fight! Year in Review | Book Fight!

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