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The College of Arts Sciences

Man Booker Prize-Winning novelist Marlon James reads Oct. 12

By: Lynn Lauper,  Department of English
Tue, 10/03/2017

Award-winning novelist and educator Marlon James will read from his work on Oct. 12 at 4:30 p.m. at the Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium in Klarman Hall, as the fourth installment of the Fall 2017 Barbara and David Zalaznick Reading Series.

In 2015, "A Brief History of Seven Killings" made James the first Jamaican author to win the Man Booker Prize for Fiction — the UK’s most esteemed literary award. The novel has also garnered a slew of other awards and James is in the process of adapting it into an HBO television series. Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times says of James’ "A Brief History of Seven Killings," “It’s epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex. It’s also raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting—a testament to Mr. James’s vaulting ambition and prodigious talent.”

James’ first novel, "John Crow’s Devil," was initially rejected by publishers but went on to become a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, as well as a New York Times Editor’s Choice. His second novel, "The Book of Night Women," 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 a NAACP Image Award. His non-fiction works have been featured by Esquire, Granta, Harper’s, The Caribbean Review of Books, and the New York Times Magazine. In early 2016 his viral video Are you racist? ‘No’ isn’t a good enough answer received millions of hits. His current projects include the Dark Star Trilogy, a fantasy series set in African legend (Riverhead, 2018). James’ creations are exhilarating renderings of history and historical fiction and his upcoming projects are being widely anticipated.

James was born in Kingston, Jamaica. He graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1991 with a degree in language and literature, and from Wilkes University in Pennsylvania in 2006 with a master's in creative writing. He lives in Minneapolis, Minn. and teaches English and creative writing at Macalester College.

Presented by the Cornell Department of English Creative Writing Program, the reading is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase from Buffalo Street Books, and a book signing and free, catered reception in the English Department Lounge, 258 Goldwin Smith Hall, will follow the reading.

For more information about this event, visit, email, or call 607.255.7847. If you need accommodations to participate in this event, please contact us as soon as possible.

Photo by Jeffrey Skemp