On Tuesday 25th October, American author Paul Beatty was named winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his book The Sellout. The prestigious event was held at the Guildhall in London and catered for by Moving Venue. The Sellout is published by small independent publisher Oneworld, who had their first win last year with Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings.
Guests were treated to a sumptuous three course dinner catered for by Moving Venue, which consisted of sweet corn croquettes with baby heritage radishes, red pepper purée, mustard seed caviar and tarragon dressing for the starter. Main course was a venison fillet lightly roasted with poached pear, smoked bacon panna cotta, Jerusalem artichoke purée, roasted carrots, venison jus and bitter chocolate oil. To polish off dinner, guests tucked into a cranberry walnut treacle tart with cranberry jam, orange sorbet, speculoos tuille and clementine segments.
Paul Beatty is the first American author to win The Man Booker Prize in its 48-year history. The 2016 shortlist included two British, two US, one Canadian and one British-Canadian writer. The Sellout is a searing satire on race relations in contemporary America. The book is described by The New York Times as a ‘metaphorical multicultural pot almost too hot to touch’, whilst the Wall Street Journal called it a ‘Swiftian satire of the highest order.
The Sellout is narrated by African-American ‘Bonbon’, a resident of the run-down town of Dickens in Los Angeles county, which has been removed from the map to save California from embarrassment. Bonbon is being tried in the Supreme Court for attempting to reinstitute slavery and segregation in the local high school as means of bringing about civic order. What follows is a retrospective of this whirlwind scheme, populated by cartoonish characters who serve to parody racial stereotypes.
For more information on the 2016 Man Booker Prize, please visit: www.themanbookerprize.com