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Author Talk: An Evening with Paul Beatty

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by Lee Ellwood (EllWords) (subscribe)
A Brisbane-based editor and creative communicator who loves free weekends, when they happen! Visit me at or
Man Booker author in conversation in Brisbane
Last year Paul Beatty became the first American to win the Man Booker literary prize, with The Sellout, a humorously satirical novel about uncomfortable truths and the legacy of slavery. Now Brisbane readers have the opportunity to hear Beatty talk about writing, humour and the concept of progress at an UPLIT event at the State Library of Queensland on Sunday, May 21.

Paul Beatty, Man Booker, prize, literature, author, trophy
Author Paul Beatty and his Man Booker trophy. Courtesy UPLIT

Paul's work scrutinises unflinchingly the fabric of American society,' said UPLIT CEO and Artistic Director, Zoe Pollock. 'The Sellout is an intelligent satire that questions the idea of progress and demonstrates the pervasive legacy of slavery with humour and absurdity.'

Born in 1962, Beatty has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Master of Arts in psychology. After winning a poetry slam he published two books of poetry and several novels before winning the Man Booker. The Sellout took him seven years to write.

The Sellout, Paul Beatty, book, Man Booker, novel, literature
Paul Beatty's 'The Sellout'. Courtesy UPLIT
Beatty will be in conversation with Queensland writer and director Wesley Enoch, who is the current director of the Sydney Festival. Enoch has been a theatre director and writer for over 25 years, specialising in Aboriginal theatre. He has worked with all the large arts companies and festivals in Australia and on the opening ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

This special evening event will also feature a spoken word performance by Fred Leone, a contemporary Indigenous artist with Tongan and South Sea Islander heritage. Fred's performance, inspired by his cultural background, will highlight Queensland's own history of race relations.

An Evening with Paul Beatty is presented by UPLIT in partnership with the State Library of Queensland. UPLIT, who bring you the Brisbane Writers' Festival each September, adopted their new name in July 2016 to highlight their year-round program of events for Brisbane's reading and writing community. This is their third event for 2017.

Bookings for An Evening with Paul Beatty are available via or by phoning (07) 3255 0254. Full tickets cost $35, concessions $30 and UPLIT members $25. Copies of The Sellout will be available from the Library Shop on the night.
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Why? A very special cultural and literary event
When: Sunday, 21 May 2017, 5pm to 6.30pm
Phone: (07) 3255 0254
Where: Auditorium 1, State Library of QLD, Cultural Precinct, South Brisbane
Cost: $35 / $30 (concessions) / $25 (UPLIT members)
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