|Born||1962 (age 53–54)
Los Angeles, California
Paul Beatty (born 1962) is a contemporary American author.
Born in Los Angeles in 1962, Beatty received an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College and an MA in psychology from Boston University. He is a 1980 graduate of El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, California.
In 1990, Beatty was crowned the first ever Grand Poetry Slam Champion of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. One of the prizes for winning the championship title was the book deal that resulted in his first volume of poetry, Big Bank Takes Little Bank (1991). This was followed by another book of poetry Joker, Joker, Deuce (1994) and appearances performing his poetry on MTV and PBS (in the series The United States of Poetry). In 1993, he was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.
His first novel, The White Boy Shuffle (1996), received a positive review in The New York Times from reviewer Richard Bernstein, who called the book "a blast of satirical heat from the talented heart of black American life." His second book, Tuff (2000), received a positive notice in Time Magazine. In 2006, Beatty edited an anthology of African-American humor called Hokum and wrote an article in The New York Times on the same subject. His 2008 novel Slumberland was about an American DJ in Berlin.
In his 2015 novel The Sellout, Beatty chronicles an urban farmer who tries to spearhead a revitalization of slavery and segregation in a fictional Los Angeles neighborhood. In The Guardian Elisabeth Donnelly described it as "a masterful work that establishes Beatty as the funniest writer in America", while reviewer Reni Eddo-Lodge called it a "of a satire", going on to say: "Everything about The Sellout’s plot is contradictory. The devices are real enough to be believable, yet surreal enough to raise your eyebrows." The Sellout was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. In September 2016 it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Awards and honors
- The White Boy Shuffle (1996), ISBN 0-312-28019-X 
- Tuff (2000), Alfred A. Knopf, ISBN 0-375-40122-9
- Slumberland (2008)
- The Sellout (2015)
- Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor (2006)
- Aptowicz, Cristin O'Keefe (2008), Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam. Soft Skull Press, p. 45. ISBN 1-933368-82-9.
- Aptowicz, p. 46.
- Aptowicz, p. 80.
- "Black Poet's First Novel Aims the Jokes Both Ways", The New York Times, 31 May 1996.
- "Tuff", Time Magazine, 1 May 2000.
- "Black Humor", The New York Times, 22 January 2006.
- Elisabeth Donnelly, "Paul Beatty on writing, humor and race: 'There are very few books that are funny'", The Guardian, March 10, 2015.
- Reni Eddo-Lodge, "The Sellout by Paul Beatty review – a whirlwind satire about racial identity", The Guardian, May 11, 2016.
- Sukhdev Sandhu, "Paul Beatty: ‘Slam poetry, TED talks: they’re for short attention spans’", The Guardian, June 24, 2016.
- Sameer Rahim, "Man Booker Prize shortlist 2016: Paul Beatty's The Sellout is an outrageous racial satire – review", The Telegraph, September 13, 2016.
- "Man Booker Prize announces 2016 shortlist", The Man Booker Prize, September 13, 2016.
- Alexandra Alter (March 17, 2016). "'The Sellout' Wins National Book Critics Circle's Fiction Award". The New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
- Bernstein, Richard (May 31, 1996). "BOOKS OF THE TIMES; Black Poet's First Novel Aims the Jokes Both Ways". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
- Article in NY Times by Paul Beatty
- African American Literature Book Club for Paul Beatty
- Excerpt from Slumberland at BookBrowse
- Interview at Full Stop
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