St. Paul, Minn. – Macalester’s First Thursday - Opening Convocation speaker is Macalester English professor Marlon James, who will speak at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, September 1, in the Leonard Center’s Alumni Gymnasium. President Brian Rosenberg, Provost Karine Moe and Student Government President Merrit Stüven will also speak. This all-campus event is open to students, faculty and staff.

James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, considered the most prestigious prize in literature, for his book A Brief History of Seven Killings. In it, James confronts the untold history of Jamaica in the late 1970’s: the assassination attempt on Bob Marley, and the country’s own clandestine battles of the cold war. The novel employs multiple genres: the political thriller, the oral biography, and the classic whodunit. James was the first writer from Jamaica to win in the prize’s 47-year history.

James’ second novel, The Book of Night Women, won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction and an NAACP Image Award. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice.

James joined the English department as professor in 2007 and has taught long enough to see some of his own students published.

At Macalester, James teaches Introduction to Creative Writing; Crafts of Writing: Fiction; The Crafts of Writing: Creative Nonfiction; Projects in Creative Writing; and Topics in Creative Writing.

James graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1991 with a degree in language and literature, and from Wilkes University in 2006 with a master’s in creative writing.

 

August 15 2016

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