By: Rachel Stewart
The Man-Booker Prize winner was finally announced on Tuesday, October 13. The novel that received the prize is A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. The announcement comes after the long-list of thirteen books was announced on July 29, with the shortlist, narrowed down to six books, following on September 15.
Marlon James is a Jamaican author who lives in Minneapolis, and his book was inspired by the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the 1970’s, but the novel’s timelines span three decades in total. For his prize, he will receive £50,000, about $77,000, and he is the first Jamaican author to win this prize. The ceremony to crown the winner was held at Guildhall in London, and it was presented by the Duchess of Cornwall.
The novel in itself could be considered “epic,” with 704 pages, and over 75 characters. Additionally, there is a section of the book written completely in the traditional Jamaican dialect. Even the author himself admits, “It is not an easy read.” James is no novice to the writing game as this is his third novel.
An indirect reward of winning this prestigious prize is a boost in sales for the winner. After only being put on the shortlist, the novel’s sales tripled to more than 1,000 copies a week, according to Nielsen Book Research.
Last year’s winner was Richard Flanagan’s novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North.