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Marlon James

Autor(a) de A Brief History of Seven Killings

9+ Works 7,308 Membros 220 Críticas 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 mostrar mais 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) mostrar menos

Includes the name: MarlonJames

Image credit: Penguin Random House author photo

Séries

Obras por Marlon James

Associated Works

The Neil Gaiman Reader: Selected Fiction (2020) — Prefácio — 383 exemplares
Bronx Noir (2003) — Contribuidor — 101 exemplares
Kingston Noir (2012) — Contribuidor — 34 exemplares

Etiquetado

Conhecimento Comum

Nome legal
Marlon, James
Data de nascimento
1970-11-24
Sexo
male
Nacionalidade
Jamaica (birth)
USA
Local de nascimento
Kingston, Jamaica
Locais de residência
Kingston, Jamaica
USA
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Educação
University of the West Indies
Wilkes University
Ocupações
novelist
Organizações
Macalester College
Prémios e menções honrosas
2015 Man Booker

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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.

Membros

Críticas

But one of the reasons why it’s a big novel is almost for the same reason you have something like a double album. Because I think — I hope, and so far some critics seem to agree with me and some critics don’t — that a bigger novel is a wider canvas to experiment with... I’m not sure why ambition is looked upon as a bad thing. - Marlon James*

I really like thinking of this novel as a double album. That works. Because it's big, really big, and ambitious, and has two separate but obviously connected parts.

The first part is 5 stars for me all the way. Jamaican politics, and its associated gangs, and Bob Marley, and the CIA, and fascinating characters like Papa Lo and Weeper, and culminating in the attempted assassination of Marley by a gang of ghetto gunmen, whose leader is operating out of several motives, personal and political. Marley, always referred to as the Singer, his fame just that encompassing, is ever present just off-stage, working to create a peace which is not in the interests of certain elements.

His ultimate inability leads to the second album, post Marley's terribly early death from cancer, and we lose the politics and the Singer and gain the Medellin cartel, crack cocaine, drug empires in Brooklyn and the Bronx, and, a bit oddly, graphic gay sex ("I do actually believe in explicit violence. I believe in explicit sex... There’s something to be read in the explicit scene.*). This album didn't interest me so much though I recognize the quality.

* - Guernica interview, https://www.guernicamag.com/interviews/violently-wrought/

---- In-Reading Comment ---
Brethren, what the bombocloth you mean calling this a brief history? Could have been done a lot briefer, but that's cool, it's real good.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
lelandleslie | 107 outras críticas | Feb 24, 2024 |
See raamat solgutas mentaaliselt ikka täiesti läbi :D
Alguses oli raske otsa peale saada - maailm oli nii läbini võõras ja kummaline nagu võõras kultuur ikka. Ja muidugi punnib vastu - angloameeerika ulme on ajju juba sügavad maanteed sisse tallanud, ja nüüd tuleb see Aafrika monstertruck ja arvab, et sõidab sealt kust tahab ...
Lõpuks muidugi sõitis ka, ja ma nautisin seda 100%.
See on kahtlemata üks kõige huvitavamaid asju, mida ma viimasel ajal olen lugenud, ja mida kaugemale ma jõudsin, seda rohkem hakkas meeldima. Aafrika mütoloogia(te) pentsikus ja võõrikus on tohutult värskendav ning selle täiesti teistsugused mõttemustrid ja arusaamised keerasid oma mõtteilmas ka mitmele asjale värske külje ette.
Üks väike lugu ka, maitseks.
Ka te teadsite, et teisena sündinud kaksik on tegelikult esimene? Aga nii vaat on, sest kui sünd algab, siis ütleb vanem kaksik nooremale: "Sina mine aas ja vaata, mis värk on." Ja noorem läheb, valmistab ette. Ja alles siis tuleb vanem :)
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
sashery | 58 outras críticas | Jan 29, 2024 |
a poetic style of writing tells the fantasy saga of Tracker, a mercenary character in Africa beset by magic, his own unrelentingly brutal history, and the cost of the vengeance he insists on. a whole lot of the point of view boils down to a nihilist grimdark wonderland, albeit with a different sort of setting, so in spite of the often terrific writing and intriguing characters i found it a difficult read. the unrelenting character of the sex and violence got me down, and i barely survived the 8% mark, which i swear went on and on and on in a kind of a controlled loop that took two days to plough through. so in summary the work kinda boils down to a profane Pilgrim's Progress, with the progress part a question mark. so after a struggle with myself based on the author's considerable skills, and some curiosity about where he is planning to take this in volume 2, i decided life was short and i just wanted not to spend any more time in this world, regardless of the quality of the writing. so i've given it an excellent mark and just moved on.… (mais)
 
Assinalado
macha | 58 outras críticas | Jan 18, 2024 |
(I started a book blog! Review originally posted here.)

My one-sentence review is that Black Leopard is a gift of a novel. This book is a gorgeous, unsettling dark fantasy about the monsters that pursue us, within and without, and the speculative canon is richer for its publication.

The book is narrated by Tracker, a sort of paranormal detective for hire who ends up on a quest to locate a mysterious young boy. As the adventurers face off against dangerous magic and political conspiracy, Tracker reckons with his own history of personal trauma. There's enchantment, violence, sex, romance, worldbuilding that makes you go "ooh" and "ahh," and a gritty central vein of psychological drama that propels the whole project.

Let's get the setting out of the way. Black Leopard, Red Wolf conjures an African-inspired world that represents an amazing feat of imagination. It teems with magic and monsters and a polyphony of cultures. The prose is exquisite, incorporating oratory and poetry and proverbs, never missing a beat.

It feels as if James is rebuilding the fantasy genre from the ground up, asking us at every moment to rethink our cultural assumptions. I love, for instance, that in this tropical setting, night and darkness are associated with security and community rather than danger. And, absurdly, this is the first time I've read a book in which romantic kissing is described as an unfamiliar foreign custom (making Tracker's first kiss wholly novel to him and surely one of the top ten hottest kisses in English literature).

Ahem. The plot! For the first half of the novel, the story is more than a little unwieldy, crowded with characters and episodes. At times I was discouraged, because this book is long, and picaresque, and I wasn't quite sure where we were going. I had to trust James's vision.

I put my trust in the right author. All the loose threads do come together, weaving a complex tapestry of the personal and political. And then Marlon James sets the whole damn thing on fire.

I think a lot about what it means to trust an author, especially in the context of feminist / anti-racist storytelling. When I don't trust the author, I resort to a "bingo card" approach to judging a work's merits. Passes the Bechdel test? Check. More than one character with the same marginalized identity? Check. No female suffering that furthers the emotional arcs of men? Bingo, and you're done.

Black Leopard is a 620-page novel about toxic masculinity, and while James does okay by my "bingo card" metric, I don't think he's keeping score. The violence in this novel is frequent and graphic. Rape permeates the text. Bodies and body parts are commodities or even comestibles, giving a new dimension to body horror.

James tackles difficult subject matter by writing a book that is deeply reflective and tells the truth as he feels best able to tell it. One graceful way he does this is embodied in the character of Tracker. Tracker has a problem with women, but rather than following the time-honored tradition of Western novels - asking us to read about an antihero protagonist who is a sexual predator - James gives us a queer character whose primary relationships are with men. The book investigates how Tracker's familial and sexual trauma poisons his relationships and sense of self without resorting to the bodies of women as a medium for this narrative.

The violence in this novel is brought into relief by an immense tenderness. Tracker is a killer, but he's also a parent. He spends most of the book trying to rescue children, and he finds healing, of a partial sort, in his relationships. The romance arc is unconscionably sweet considering how brutal this novel is.

Now, the women. By refusing to write a book that centers on female victims, James frees himself to write female characters who are complicated and enigmatic and often quite unlikable. They have their own agendas, their own voices. They are also every bit as damaged as Tracker, and the novel has an interesting thread that reads to me like a critique of the thin revisionist histories produced by a second-wave feminism or old-school Afrocentrism. It's a cautionary tale of inventing a fairy tale history for your identity rather than giving your ancestors permission to be fully human.

Because this is a book about masculinity—or maybe because Tracker is regarding womanhood across so wide a gulf—the women of this book are a little unreal. They take on the character of a Greek chorus, airing their grievances toward men, then going off to be inscrutable. I think probably this is on purpose. On a first read I feel like I'm far from comprehending everything that's going on in this book.

I hope the next two books are a bit tighter, and that they give women a chance to tell their own story, although I can't say for sure that's what James has in mind. When I imagine the female answer to Black Leopard, I unaccountably think of Interview with a Vampire and The Vampire Lestat, Louis's yin energy followed by Lestat's yang brashness. And then it occurs to me that both Black Leopard and Interview are about queer monster-men who want to protect the innocent and are telling their stories in first person.

So there you go: Black Leopard, Red Wolf - it's Interview With A Vampire if Louis weren't such a wanker.
… (mais)
 
Assinalado
raschneid | 58 outras críticas | Dec 19, 2023 |

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Estatísticas

Obras
9
Also by
6
Membros
7,308
Popularidade
#3,344
Avaliação
3.8
Críticas
220
ISBN
128
Línguas
12
Marcado como favorito
9

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