The Sellout by Paul Beatty has just won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. The book is a savage satire about a “post-racial America,” and it points out how absurd that notion really is.
The book’s narrator is brought before the Supreme Court for trying to make segregation and slavery legal again. The premise and plot has certainly resonated with critics, but also by Sarah Silverman who said that the book was “amazing. Like demented angels wrote it.”
The National Book Critics Circle non-fiction prize was won by Sam Quinones for “Dreamland: The True Story of America’s Opiate Epidemic”. Maggie Nelson won the prize in the criticism category for “The Argonauts”. The biography prize went to Charlotte Gordon for the “Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley” and the autobiography prize went to Margo Jefferson’s “Negroland”. Ross Gay won the poetry prize for “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude”.