Paul Beatty is the author of the novels Tuff, Slumberland, The White Boy Shuffle and the 2016 Man Booker Prize winner The Sellout, and the poetry collections Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He was the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. He lives in New York City.
A follow-up to White Boy Shuffle, the fiction debut of New York Poetry Slam winner Beatty; young "Tuffy" is talked into running for city council. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
A zany, riotous concoction of nonstop hip-hop chatter and brilliant mainstream social satire, Beatty's second novel depicts the unusual coming-of-age of 19-year-old, obese African-American Winston "Tuffy" Foshay, who tries to rise above his rough-and-tumble life on the vicious streets of Spanish Harlem. He wakes up to reality when he survives a shooting in a Brooklyn drug den, and his commitment to becoming a new man is clinched after a crack binge leaves him deranged and hiding in his bedroom closet. Both drug dealer and abuser, he understands the addict's need for illegal substances to escape the despair that pervades his impoverished, violent community. The novel's manic comedy is balanced by the telling portrayal of Winston's topsy-turvy marriage to Yolanda, the mother of their year-old son, Jordy. Following a harrowing visit to prison to see his father, Winston reaches out for another type of mentor in Spenser Throckmorton, freelance rabbi, lecturer and journalist, who, along with Yolanda and his political activist-surrogate mom, Inez, encourages Winston to run for City Council. In a series of howlingly funny scenes, Beatty uses the youth's inept campaign to get in some wicked shots at the American electoral process, voter apathy, conservative politics, liberals and political fat cats. While the book's freewheeling conclusion sounds a note of triumph, Beatty acknowledges the overall lack of promise and opportunity in the lives of young blacks in communities neglected by society at large. His supporting cast of rogue characters is expertly drawn, providing the perfect complement for Winston's many comic miscues. Beatty's book is full of deep belly laughs, wonderfully knowing observations on society and pop culture, all delivered with the same imaginative originality and skill that informed his acclaimed debut work, The White Boy Shuffle. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
"[M]asterfully conceived and highly entertaining.... Richly textured and unforgettable."-The Boston Globe "[A]n extravagant, satirical cri de coeur from the inner city.... Tuff is a funny book, and Mr. Beatty's blunt, impious, streetwise eloquence has a...transfixing power."-The New York Times "When Beatty writes, it's not hard to pay attention."-USA Today