Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings Wins the 2015 Man Booker Prize

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Photo: David Levenson/Getty Images

Jamaican author Marlon James has won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. In the words of judges' chair Michael Wood, James's sprawling novel was simply the "most exciting" book on this year's Booker short list. Taking inspiration from a 1976 assassination attempt on Bob Marley, Seven Killings weaves an polyphonic narrative out of the political violence of '70s Jamaica and the drug empires of '80s New York. As that description hints, its nearly 700 pages are full of unspeakable violence; as James told one interviewer, "I didn’t want to fall into a pornography of violence but I think violence should be violent. I find the violence in PG13 movies unbearable ... you have to explore the consequences."