Bob Marley novel bags Man Booker nod

Marlon James first Jamaican author to be in the running for prestigious prize

Reuters July 30, 2015
The book highlights the assassination of the reggae singer and its aftermath in Jamaica in the 1970s and early 80s. PHOTO: FILE

LONDON: The long list of 13 titles for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for fiction written in English, published on Wednesday, features the first Jamaican author in contention for the 50,000-pound prize. Marlon James is nominated for his third novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, the story of the attempted assassination of reggae singer Bob Marley and its aftermath in the Jamaica of the 1970s and early 80s.

Also in contention are 2007-winner Anne Enright and writers from Nigeria, India, New Zealand, Ireland, the US and Britain. The list will be whittled down to six on September 15, and the winner will be announced on October 13 in London’s Guildhall.

First awarded in 1969, the prize’s list of previous winners features many literary giants of the last four decades, from Hilary Mantel to Iris Murdoch to Ian McEwan. The rules of the prize changed in 2013 to open it to writers beyond Britain and the Commonwealth.

Last year’s winning novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, sold almost 800,000 copies worldwide.

Read: Book review: An unsettling legacy - Go Set a Watchman

After considering 156 books for this year’s prize, the five judges chose the following 13 novels for the 2015 long list:

Author (nationality) Title (publisher)

Bill Clegg (US) Did You Ever Have a Family (Jonathan Cape)

Anne Enright (Ireland) The Green Road (Jonathan Cape)

Marlon James (Jamaica) A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld Publications)

Laila Lalami (US) The Moor’s Account (Periscope, Garnet Publishing)

Tom McCarthy (UK) Satin Island (Jonathan Cape)

Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) The Fishermen (One, Pushkin Press)

Andrew O’Hagan (UK) The Illuminations (Faber & Faber)

Marilynne Robinson (US) Lila (Virago)

Anuradha Roy (India) Sleeping on Jupiter (MacLehose Press, Quercus)

Sunjeev Sahota (UK) The Year of the Runaways (Picador)

Anna Smaill (New Zealand) The Chimes (Sceptre)

Anne Tyler (US) A Spool of Blue Thread (Chatto & Windus)

Hanya Yanagihara (US) A Little Life (Picador) 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st,  2015.

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