Marlon James Interview

15 Sep, 2015 by

Marlon James Interview

In 1976, a group of men attempted to assassinate Bob Marley. They broke into his home in Jamaica, shot the singer and everyone else in the room, but, fortunately, didn’t manage to actually kill anyone. Around the same time, outbursts of violence sparked in Kingston, part local rivalry, part politics made all too physical. This is the backdrop to A Brief History of Seven Killings, the third novel by Marlon James. Crossing decades, countries, and a dozen odd characters – killers, writers, CIA agents – the story follows the build-up to the attack, and the long aftermath for those it touched.

A Brief History of Seven Killings is one of those rarest of novels, an ambitious work that lives up to its ambitions – lyrical, violent, insightful, and far more fast-paced than any 700 page work of literature has a right to be. The book was a finalist in the National Book Critics Circle award, and has won the Man Booker.

Marlon James spoke to Sky Kirkham about language, history, humour, and the weight of violence. Originally broadcast 27/08/15. A Brief History of Seven Killings is out through Bloomsbury.


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