Happy Birthday, Marlon James, born 24 November 1970
- We’re not big on irony in Jamaica, sarcasm and double-talk. We tend to say things plainly, sometimes to the point of boredom.
- The fiction writer in me likes gaps in stories because I can jump into that gap and try to suggest something.
- I think, for me, there’s The Book I Should Write and The Book I Wanted to Write – and they weren’t the same book. The Book I Should Write should be realistic, since I studied English Lit. It should be cultural. It should reflect where I am today. The Book I Wanted to Write would probably include flying women, magic, and all of that.
- If your depiction of loss doesn’t make the reader feel loss, then you didn’t depict it right.
- I always tell my students to complicate your characters: never make it easy for the reader. Nobody is ever one thing. That’s what makes characters compelling.
Marlon James is a Jamaican writer. He is the author of four novels: John Crow’s Devil, The Book of Night Women, A Brief History of Seven Killings, winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize, and Black Leopard, Red Wolf. He almost gave up his writing career after receiving 70 rejections for his first novel.
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