I feel that both books were identical in that idea of lacking an ending,” says Tolu Daniel, host of this book chat with Paul Beatty author of The Sellout and Nicole Dennis-Benn author of Here Comes the Sun.
When speaking on his perception of closure and how this translates in The Sellout, Beatty says, “You get programmed to think things resolve themselves rather than see life for the continuum it is. When faced with trauma, people put things behind them or they don’t, but nothing ever really goes away.” When considering the need for closure in The Sellout and wider society, he says that it is often the person that is abusing you and oppressing you that feels that they need closure.
Here Comes the Sun which Nicole Dennis-Benn describes as a ‘love letter to Jamaica’ focuses on the life of Margot, a working-class Jamaican woman to unravel the lives of those behind the paradise on the island. Describing the ending for Margot, Tolu Daniels says, “she’s got everything she wanted, and she didn’t have everything she always wanted at the same time.” Responding to this Dennis-Benn states that given the difficulty of upward mobility her character faces throughout the book and the choice of money over love she eventually makes, ‘to tie up the loose ends would be unrealistic.’
Dennis-Benn and Beatty explore ideas regarding race and identity causing deep reflection in readers as they journey through both stories.