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Marlon James

Author of A Brief History of Seven Killings

8+ Works 6,993 Members 214 Reviews 9 Favorited

About the Author

Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1970. He studied literature at the University of the West Indies. He worked in advertising for more than a decade, as a copywriter, art director and graphic designer. He took a writing workshop in Kingston, Jamaica, and later enrolled in a writing show more program at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. His first novel, John Crow's Devil, was published in 2005. His other novels include The Book of Night Women and A Brief History of Seven Killings, which won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2015. He teaches at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Includes the name: MarlonJames

Image credit: Penguin Random House author photo


Works by Marlon James

Associated Works

The Neil Gaiman Reader: Selected Fiction (2020) — Foreword — 354 copies
Bronx Noir (2003) — Contributor — 98 copies
Kingston Noir (2012) — Contributor — 34 copies


2019 (28) 21st century (35) Africa (55) African American (21) anthology (20) ARC (18) audiobook (37) Bob Marley (54) Booker Prize (76) Booker Prize Winner (30) Caribbean (59) Caribbean literature (32) contemporary fiction (19) crime (41) currently-reading (36) dnf (20) drugs (26) ebook (58) fantasy (279) fiction (580) goodreads (28) historical (25) historical fiction (144) Jamaica (222) Jamaican (19) Jamaican literature (37) Kindle (46) literature (44) murder (23) mythology (26) non-fiction (21) novel (91) own (25) read (42) short stories (31) signed (61) slavery (60) to-read (1,220) unread (52) wishlist (22)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Marlon, James
Jamaica (birth)
Kingston, Jamaica
Places of residence
Kingston, Jamaica
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
University of the West Indies
Wilkes University
Macalester College
Awards and honors
2015 Man Booker
Short biography
Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1970. He is the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, The Minnesota Book Award and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction as well as an NAACP Image Award. His first novel John Crow's Devil was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and was a New York Times Editor's Choice. In his third novel, A Brief History Of Seven Killings, James is exploring multiple genres: the political thriller, the oral biography, and the classic whodunit to confront the untold history of Jamaica in the late 1970's; of the assassination attempt on Bob Marley, and the country's own clandestine battles of the cold war.

James graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1991 with a degree in Language And Literature, and from Wilkes University in 2006 with a Masters in creative writing. His short fiction and nonfiction have appeared widely including in Esquire, Granta, and The Caribbean Review of Books.



The first two thirds of this book are great. Then it gets lost.
paeonia | 5 other reviews | Nov 29, 2023 |
DNF @31%

I really wanted to like this, as I loved the idea of an African-inspired fantasy but the constant stream of explicit violence, child abuse and sexual content on basically every page was just too much for me.

I liked the African mythology and the writing style was original and intriguing (it resembles the oral storytelling tradition), but the content was making it impossible for me to enjoy this.

I might give this another try in the future, but for now it’s a no.
bookforthought | 54 other reviews | Nov 7, 2023 |
Leopardo negro, lobo rojo
Marlon James
Publicado: 2019 | 563 páginas
Novela Aventuras Fantástico
Serie: Trilogía de la Estrella oscura #1

El Rastreador es conocido por sus habilidades como cazador: «Tiene un buen olfato», se dice de él. Contratado para encontrar a un misterioso niño que ha desaparecido, el Rastreador rompe su propia regla de no trabajar con nadie y se encuentra de pronto como parte de un grupo que debe colaborar y apoyarse para llevar su objetivo a buen puerto. Se trata de un grupo heterogéneo, formado por personajes inusuales, cada uno con sus propios secretos, incluido un hombre capaz de cambiar de forma a su antojo conocido como el Leopardo.Mientras el Rastreador sigue el olor del chico, el grupo se enfrenta a criaturas que intentan que no lleguen a su objetivo. Y mientras luchan para sobrevivir, el Rastreador empieza a preguntarse quién es realmente ese niño, por qué ha estado perdido durante tanto tiempo y por qué todos intentan evitar que sea encontrado. Y algo más importante: ¿quién está contando la verdad en esta historia y quién está mintiendo?Hundiendo su propia imaginación en la mitología y en la historia africana, Marlon James ha escrito una novela que no se parece a nada: una saga de aventuras capaz de cortar el aliento, tan ambiciosa como imposible de dejar de leer. Huyendo de las etiquetas y repleta de personajes inolvidables, Leopardo negro, lobo rojo es un ejercicio de literatura tan sorprendente como profundo que explora nuestra necesidad de entender cómo funcionan la verdad y el poder.… (more)
libreriarofer | 54 other reviews | Oct 11, 2023 |
This book is about the politics of Jamaica, the attempted killing of Bob Marley,the drug wars in the 1990s in New York, and more. Told in many many voices with not much dialog. I made frequent use of the Cast of Characters list in the front of the book. Intelligently written. It felt like I was really inside the characters heads, more so than I have ever been in a book before. The Jamaican dialect was hard to get used to, but once I did I found myself thinking in that dialect, and almost trying to use some of the words in my own speech. The language in the book is rough, and there is a lot of violence. Considering the topic, it was all appropriate.
The book did bog down some in the middle, but I gave it 5 stars anyway because of how brilliantly it was written overall.This book will stay with me awhile. If you decide to read this, don't plan on reading it for long periods of time. I had to take breaks---focus and concentration are required!
… (more)
Maryjane75 | 106 other reviews | Sep 30, 2023 |



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