Novelist Marlon James won the Man Booker Prize earlier this week. He’s now the first Jamaican to win the award, so this is a big deal for me being a Jamaican decedent. Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1970 and has a literature degree from the University of the West Indies.
The book that won him the award is named A Brief History of Seven Killings. The story is a fictional take on the attempted murder of Bob Marley in 1976. The book is said to be extremely violent, full of profanity and insanely graphic; regardless it’s an exciting read that has captivated the minds of many.
The New York Times described the book as “A Tarantino remake of the The Harder They Come, but with a soundtrack by Bob Marley and a script by Oliver Stone and William Faulkner.”
James hopes that this win will bring attention to more writers in the Caribbean, despite the fact that he felt he had to leave Jamaica to write the book, as it would be too risky to explore these themes within the country. When your book is telling the story of assassin’s out to kill the most iconic figure associated with your country, there’s no doubt that it would upset many.
James won the award over four other talented writers (Tom McCarthy, Sunjeev Sahota, Chigozie Obioma and Anne Tyler), so A Brief History of Seven Killings certainly must have left a lasting impression on the judges.
The book is available everywhere now, and was published by Oneworld Publications. We’ll add it to our list, so expect to see it as our book club’s featured book sometime in the future.
If you’ve already read A Brief History of Seven Killings then let us know what you think of it in the comments.