Jamaican Marlon James wins Booker prize
Published: October 14, 2015 1:22 pm
14 October 2015, Nirapad News: Jamaican author Marlon James has won the Man Booker Prize for his novel inspired by the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the 1970s.
Michael Wood, chair of the judges, described A Brief History of Seven Killings as the “most exciting” book on the shortlist.
The 680-page epic was “full of surprises” as well as being “very violent” and “full of swearing”.
James was announced the £50,000 winner on Tuesday night at London’s Guildhall, reports BBC.
He is the first Jamaican author to win the Man Booker Prize. Receiving the award, he said a huge part of the novel had been inspired by reggae music.
“The reggae singers Bob Marley and Peter Tosh were the first to recognise that the voice coming out our mouths was a legitimate voice for fiction and poetry.”
The 44-year-old author was presented with his prize by the Duchess of Cornwall.
He admitted it was “so surreal” to win and dedicated the award to his late father who had shaped his “literary sensibilities”.
Set across three decades, the novel uses the true story of the attempt on the life of reggae star Marley to explore the turbulent world of Jamaican gangs and politics.
Wood said the judges had come to a unanimous decision in less than two hours.
He praised the book’s “many voices” – it contains more than 75 characters – which “went from Jamaican slang to Biblical heights”.
He said: “One of the pleasures of reading it is that you turn the page and you’re not quite sure who the next narrator will be.”
But he acknowledged that some of the content might be too much for some readers.