Yesterday, the National Book Critics Circle announced the recipients of its book awards for publishing year 2015. The Fiction winner is Paul Beatty for The Sellout.
The Sellout is a biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court. Born in Dickens, on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles, the narrator resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: "I'd die in the same bedroom I'd grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that've been there since '68 quake." Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father's pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family's financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that's left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral. Fuelled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town's most famous resident―the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins―he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court (https://www.amazon.ca/Sellout-Novel-Paul-Beatty/dp/0374260508/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458310977&sr=1-1&keywords=the+sellout).
If you are interested in the complete list of winners, go to http://bookcritics.org/blog/archive/national-book-critics-circle-announces-award-winners-for-publishing-ye1.