For this post I’d initially waxed embarrassingly rhapsodic about each entry in Paul Beatty’s small but impressive body of published work. In the interest of brevity, however, I’ll get to the point. The 2006 publication, Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor, showed his skill as an editor crafting an intelligent and intriguingly curated collection of unexpected source material, but it was his introduction which reminded me that his incredible strength lies in his own writing.
Well now, he’s back. All Paul, all the time, in the long narrative form I’d been missing. His latest novel, Slumberland, hits bookstores today. In his DJ Darky’s transatlantic quest for “The Schwa” and musical apotheosis, Beatty, true to form, unleashes a rapier wit eviscerating sacred cows and exposing in the entrails, (as per author Adam Mansbach’s blurb) “an epic mash-up of race, music, culture, history and everything else worth throwing on a turntable.”
I like the design of the boldly graphic book jacket by Patti Ratchford.