Jamaica / 2015
Clocking in at 704 pages, Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings still managed to win the Booker Prize for Fiction and achieve popular and critical acclaim and be named one of the best books of 2015 by the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Time and Publisher’s Weekly- to name a few. This goliath of a book contains 75 characters and spans several decades. The novel centers around the attempted assassination of Bob Marley, and uses this event to tell the story of Jamaican society, violence, and political turmoil mostly through the 1970s and 1980s. I recommend this book to anyone who likes fast-paced fiction grounded in historical events and Jamaican culture.
Born in Kingston in 1970, James earned his BA in Language and Literature from the University of the West Indies and earned his master’s degree in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. He has taught at Macalester College since 2007.