Oneworld Publishers to release 10th anniversary edition of Marlon James’ award-winning novel

Oneworld Publishers has announced the forthcoming release of a special 10th anniversary edition of Marlon James’ acclaimed novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, according to Originally published in 2014, the novel went on to clinch the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2015, solidifying James’ position as a leading voice in contemporary literature.

Marking a decade since its initial publication, this commemorative edition is scheduled to hit bookshelves on June 6, 2024, in a paperback format adorned with a “brand-new look.” The release promises readers the opportunity to revisit the gripping narrative that spans three decades, weaving together the lives of a diverse cast of characters against the backdrop of Jamaica’s tumultuous political landscape.

One of the standout features of this anniversary edition is the inclusion of additional content that provides fresh insights into the creation and impact of the novel. Notably, readers can look forward to a foreword penned by fellow Booker Prize-winner Bernardine Evaristo OBE, offering a unique perspective on the significance of James’ work within the literary canon.

Furthermore, the edition will feature “new insights” from the author himself, reflecting on the past decade and the enduring relevance of the themes explored in the book. A Q&A session with Marlon James, delving into the book’s profound influence on his career and personal journey, adds another layer of depth to this special release.

Accompanying the publication of the anniversary edition is a UK tour by Marlon James, providing readers with the opportunity to engage directly with the acclaimed author and gain further insights into the genesis and evolution of A Brief History of Seven Killings.

Since its original release, James’ novel has garnered widespread acclaim for its ambitious scope, masterful storytelling and unflinching portrayal of Jamaican society. By reissuing the book with additional content and embarking on a promotional tour, Oneworld Publishers no doubt aims to celebrate the enduring legacy of A Brief History of Seven Killings and reaffirm its status as a modern classic.

For readers eager to delve into this literary masterpiece or revisit its compelling narrative, the 10th anniversary edition promises to offer a renewed appreciation for Marlon James’ unparalleled talent and the indelible impact of his work on the literary landscape.

A Brief History of Seven Killings ignited a frenzy of critical acclaim, propelling it into the literary spotlight. Hinged on the 1976 assassination attempt on reggae legend Bob Marley in Kingston, James’ magnum opus has been hailed as a masterpiece, captivating readers with its sprawling narrative and richly drawn characters.

Chris Salewicz, renowned music journalist, describes the novel as a “gripping, riveting read,” praising its originality and deep exploration of Jamaican politics.

Library Journal calls it a “brilliant novel,” urging readers to delve into its intricacies, while Publishers Weekly insists it should be mandatory reading for all.

Critics laud James’ prowess in capturing the diverse voices and dialects of Jamaica, with Kirkus Reviews commending his ability to paint a vivid portrait of the island’s turbulent history.

GQ predicts it as a strong contender for literary accolades, while Barnes & Noble Review declares it the most original novel in years.

Irvine Welsh finds it both terrifying and beautifully lyrical, while Russell Banks applauds its uncompromising artistry.

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune to Flavorwire, praise pours in for James’ fearless exploration of crime and corruption, set against the backdrop of Jamaica’s tumultuous past.

In 1976, the tranquil rhythms of Jamaica were shattered when seven gunmen unleashed chaos upon the serene abode of reggae icon Bob Marley. The air thickened with the acrid scent of gunfire as bullets tore through the night, threatening to silence the voice of a generation. Yet, amidst the hail of bullets, Marley emerged unscathed, a testament to his indomitable spirit and the resilience of his music.

James’ monumental novel catapults readers into the heart of this tumultuous event, weaving a tapestry of intrigue and emotion that spans three electrifying decades. From the dusty streets of Kingston to the corridors of power in Washington D.C., James masterfully captures the essence of a nation grappling with its own identity amidst the chaos of political turmoil and social upheaval.

Through a kaleidoscope of perspectives, James introduces us to a cast of characters as diverse and vibrant as the island itself: from streetwise hustlers to starry-eyed journalists, from ruthless drug lords to shadowy operatives of the CIA. Their lives intersect and collide in a whirlwind of ambition, betrayal, and redemption, each one leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of history.

With prose as lyrical as Marley’s melodies and a narrative as gripping as the beat of a reggae drum, A Brief History of Seven Killings stands as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling. Born in Jamaica, James is the author of John Crow’s Devil (Oneworld, 2015), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and The Book of Night Women (Oneworld, 2009), which won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Minnesota Book Award and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction. 

A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld 2014), won the Man Booker Prize in 2015, the American Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Fiction Prize, and was a finalist for the International Dublin Literary Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in Esquire and Granta. He is currently the Writer-in-Residence and Associate Professor of English at Macalester College, Minnesota, USA.

As the world celebrates the life and legacy of Bob Marley, James’ magnum opus serves as a timely reminder of the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity, and the transcendent power of art to unite, inspire, and ultimately, to heal.


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