St. Paul, Minn. – Marlon James, Macalester English professor and winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, has been named Macalester’s first ever writer-in-residence. His appointment begins January 1, 2017.

James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, considered the most prestigious prize in literature, for his most recent novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. In it, James confronts the untold history of Jamaica in the late 1970s: the assassination attempt on Bob Marley, and the country’s own clandestine battles during 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 Man Booker Prize in its 47-year history.

The book was also awarded the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for fiction, the Green Carnation Prize, the Minnesota Book Award for Novel and Short Story, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was also named a New York Times Notable Book

"With Marlon as Macalester's writer-in-residence, we can showcase his work and support his creative process, while giving our students the opportunity to learn from one of the great writers of our time," said Provost Karine Moe.

In his new position at Macalester, James will continue to teach two courses per year.

He joined the English department in 2007 and has taught Introduction to Creative Writing; American Literature 1945-Present; Anglophone Literature: Beyond Post-Colonial; Advanced Writing Workshop: Novella; Topics in Literature and Creative Writing: Your Self as Character; 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 Masters in creative writing.

James’s 2009 novel, The Book of Night Women, deals with the lives of slaves planning a revolt on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the turn of the 19th century. It 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 for the NAACP Image Award in 2009. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice.

Last year, Governor Mark Dayton declared Wednesday, October 28, 2015, MARLON JAMES DAY in the state of Minnesota.

In 2013, James won the Silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica, awarded in recognition of achievement in art, science, and literature. James was named Go On Girl Book Club Author of The Year in 2012.

November 17 2016

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