Born in the agrarian ghetto of Dickens on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles the narrator of The Sellout is raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, and spends his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. Led to believe his fathers pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family's financial woes, he is shocked to discover, when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, that there never was a memoir. All thats left is a bill for a drive-through funeral.
Fuelled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from embarrassment. Enlisting the help of Dickens' most famous resident Hominy Jenkins he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school. What follows is a remarkable journey that challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement and the holy grail of racial equality the black Chinese restaurant.