They announced the winner for the Man Booker Prize 2015 and the winner is Jamaican novelist Marlon James for his book A Brief History of Seven Killings. He has published two other novels, The Book of Night Women and John Crow’s Devil.
He beat Chigozie Obioma whose entry The Fishermen was in the running as well as Tom McCarthy who had Satin Island, Anne Tyler who had A Spool of Blue Thread, Sunjeev Sahota who had The Year of the Runaways and Hanya Yanagihara with A Little Life. He goes home with UK pounds 50,000; translate that to your African currency and however you look at it its pretty healthy.
A Brief History of Seven Killings is a 686-page epic with over 75 characters and voices. Set in Kingston, where James was born, the book is a fictional history of the attempted murder of Bob Marley in 1976. Of the book, the New York Times said: ‘It’s like a Tarantino remake of “The Harder They Come”, but with a soundtrack by Bob Marley and a script by Oliver Stone and William Faulkner… epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex.’
As expected, the Interwebs went all crazy congratulating the newest winner of literary glory. He is a very popular man and everyone had something positive to say about him. Even us “angst filled and hateful Africans.” Here are some of the reactions to the win presented to you Buzzfeed style.
The man is Jamaican born they say
Marlon James is the first Jamaican-born writer to win the #ManBooker2015 in its history.
— Lauren Turner (@thisislaurent) October 13, 2015
So his countrymen celebrated like last year’s Jamaican Forward Prize winner Kei Miller At Booker after party waiting for the man of the moment. Jamaica’s first Booker prize winner!!! Proud cyaaa done.
Then the rest of the planet jumped in. Publishers Weekly who had him on their cover were like;
Then there was this person from Minneapolis who was like,
Then we too in Africa jumped in with our friends from the Ake Festival tweeting,
Lola Shoneyin of the Ake Festival reminded us all that,
I am so thrilled tonight! Ake Festival 2013 guest Marlon James has just won the 2015 Man Booker Prize. In case you’re looking for another reason to come to Ake Festival 2015, here’s one: earlier today, I ordered 50 copies of his book, A Brief History of Seven Killings, for the festival. Ake Festival, bringing 1st Class writers to Nigeria since 2013. We have another wonderful line-up. www.akefestival.org See you there!!
And Eghosa Imasuen his interviewer at that festival was like,
So two years ago Lola gave me an assignment for the first Ake Festival. She asked me to read a book by a Jamaican author; I was going to interview him. She gave me an old threadbare hard cover of #TheBookOfNightWomen. I kept the book. I would read it soon. Very soon. But the festival was upon us. I started this book, written in 18th century patois. I was blown away. I met the gentleman, Marlon James, several weeks later at the festival. He was gracious with this fan. And now I hear he has won The Booker. I am going to be reading #AHistoryOfSevenKillings. And I am going to be blown away again.
Then Zimbabwe winner of many awards and two novels Petina Gappah was like,
Marlon James has won the Man Booker prize!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And Ugandan Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi who won a lot recently was like Even though the Fisherman did not get it, this is great.
Then Kenyan Binyanvanga Wainaina who was like,
Marlon James won the booker!
Then Ethiopian Maaza Mengiste was like,
And we here at JamesMurua.com are like