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The Sellout
The first book by an American author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize.
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Most novels that explore race in America are either set in the South or in New York City. How does The Sellout's backdrop of Los Angeles change the conversation?

Created: 01/18/17

Replies: 9

Posted Jan. 18, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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Most novels that explore race in America are either set in the South or in New York City. How does The Sellout's backdrop of Los Angeles change the conversation?

Most novels that explore race in America are either set in the South or in New York City. How does The Sellout's backdrop of Los Angeles change the conversation?


Posted Jan. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 86

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RE: Most novels that explore race in America are either set in the South or in New York City. How does The Sellout's backdrop of Los Angeles change the conversation?

There is most definitely a different "flavor" to the West Coast race issue especially considering the direct impact of the California based Black Panthers and their race consciousness. I grew up in Southern California and the setting was familiar to me along with some of the attitudes.


Posted Jan. 25, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanp

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 91

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RE: Most novels that explore race in America are either set in the South or in New York City. How does The Sellout's backdrop of Los Angeles change the conversation?

This book has a unique outlook. Dickens's history is based on exclusion and due to an error didn't exclude blacks. The agrarian setting in an otherwise urban area sets it apart right away. The blacks were there before the Latinos, the gangs, and the whites. However the basic black experience is still basically the same.


Posted Jan. 27, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christineb

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 46

RE: Most novels that explore race in America are either set in the South or in New York City. How does The Sellout's backdrop of Los Angeles change the conversation?

I don't think there would have been a difference. His experiences had a universal quality.


Posted Jan. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rosienick

Join Date: 03/20/16

Posts: 14

RE: Most novels that explore race in America are either set in the South or in New York City. How does The Sellout's backdrop of Los Angeles change the conversation?

I so enjoyed the fact that Dickens is supposed to be an agrarian city and that the narrator rides his horse everywhere. Just thinking about this type of a community as a suburb of Los Angeles is comical. Of course, since Dickens is primarily a black community, using this location is a perfect way to make fun of the portrayal of blacks in the movies which is one of the large topics in the novel.


Posted Jan. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 67

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RE: Most novels that explore race in America are either set in the South or in New York City. How does The Sellout's backdrop of Los Angeles change the conversation?

Having always lived on the east coast I am not familiar with living in LA and if the black experience is different. However since one of the characters was a television actor that is typically an LA thing in my mind and makes LA the appropriate setting for this story and adds another dimension to the race conversation.


Posted Feb. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 271

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RE: Most novels that explore race in America are either set in the South or in New York City. How does The Sellout's backdrop of Los Angeles change the conversation?

I think it is still universal but most writing on the black experience is the east coast or the south so that makes the reader experience something knew. As one person mentioned, Blacks have been in LA much longer than hispanics or Asian which people often associate with the area.


Posted Feb. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 160

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RE: Most novels that explore race in America are either set in the South or in New York City. How does The Sellout's backdrop of Los Angeles change the conversation?

Since I live in New York city now, and have always lived on the East Coast, the California setting gave me a slightly different perspective on the Black experience in the United States. Being in a different locale led me to think more about the events being narrated; the setting made a difference for me.


Posted Feb. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

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RE: Most novels that explore race in America are either set in the South or in New York City. How does The Sellout's backdrop of Los Angeles change the conversation?

Los Angeles and California are unlike most of the rest of the country - except, perhaps, the other coast. The Black Experience in this setting has to be different from the South or New York City simply because of the attitudes of the citizens of this state. Blacks, whites, and all others are subjected to these attitudes and affected by them. California is supposed to be so liberal and accepting. It is really like everyplace else in its prejudices - just hides them behind a phony fa├žade. As BonBon/The Sellout said: "So what exactly is our thing?"


Posted Feb. 14, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckys

Join Date: 08/12/16

Posts: 6

RE: Most novels that explore race in America are either set in the South or in New York City. How does The Sellout's backdrop of Los Angeles change the conversation?

I think this could have happened in most any US urban setting. I feel like most of these same racial stereotypes and way of life were not unique to "Dickens".


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