Jamaican writer Marlon James has won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. James is the first Booker winner from Jamaica. Michael Wood, chair of the Man Booker judging panel, described James’s novel as the “most exciting” novel on the shortlist. The epic novel (680 pages) was “full of surprises” and was “very violent” and “full of swearing.” The novel has been described as a mixture of Bob Marley and Quentin Tarantino.
A Brief History of Seven Killings was inspired by the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in 1976, and incorporates reggae music, Jamaican gang warfare and politics, is set over three decades and contains a multitude of voices and narrative tricks. “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,” commented Woods. The Prize, worth £50,000 ($76,000) was presented to James by the Duchess of Cornwall in London’s Guildhall on Tuesday evening.