Marlon James was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1970 and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he teaches English and Creative Writing at Macalester College. After his studies in literature, he worked in advertising. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was refused 78 times by publishers and only finally published in 2005, becoming a finalist of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. His second, The Book of Night Women, published in 2009, won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Minnesota Book Award.
In 2015, James became the first Jamaican writer to be awarded the Man Booker Prize, the United Kingdom’s most prestigious literary award, with his latest novel A Brief History of Seven Killings (2014), an ambitious portrait of the dark side of Jamaica between the seventies and the nineties and inspired by the legendary figure of Bob Marley. The book also won the narrative section of the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.