2015 was a truly a breakthrough year for the Kingston-born author Marlon James. His 2014 novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, revolving around the attempted assassination of Bob Marley, drug posses and garrison politics, continued to garner rave reviews throughout the year. Then the book was optioned to HBO for a possible television series. And to add to the achievements, it won the Man Booker Award, one of the most prestigious honors in the literary world.
But beyond the success of the book, James himself has become a new, refreshingly forthright, voice in the literary landscape, espousing his views on the lack of diversity in the literature world to the deeply personal experience of being a gay, Jamaican living abroad. James has not only brought the turbulent past of modern Jamaica’s history to a wider audience through his fiery fiction, but perhaps made a profoundly inspirational and enlightening impression on Jamaicans as well. — Saxon Baird