Thursday, October 15, 2015
Prince Frederick, MD – October, 16, 2015 –Marlon James has won this year’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, a fictional retelling of the 1976 assassination attempt on reggae icon Bob Marley. Marlon James, who lives in Minneapolis and teaches at Macalester College in St. Paul, is the first Jamaican-born author to win the prestigious prize in the Man Booker’s 47- year history.
The 44-year-old author received his prize from Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. He admitted it was “so surreal” to win and dedicated the award to his late father, who had shaped his “literary sensibilities.” During a post-award interview, the author revealed that he nearly gave up writing a decade ago after his first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was rejected 78 times by publishers. James’ other works includes two novels, The Book of Night Women (2009) and the aforementioned John Crow’s Devil (2005), which is available on audio from Recorded Books.
Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters—assassins, journalists, drug dealers, and even ghosts—A Brief History of Seven Killings is the fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time and its bloody aftermath, from the streets and slums of Kingston in the 1970s, to the crack wars in 1980s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the 1990s.
The prize is the world’s most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers. The winner of the Man Booker Prize receives £50,000 and, like all the shortlisted authors, a cheque for £2,500 and a designer-bound copy of their book. James can also expect a dramatic boost in sales following his win. According to Nielsen Book Research, when A Brief History of Seven Killings was named to the Booker shortlist last month sales tripled to more than 1,000 copies per week. The Guardian reports that last year’s winner, Richard Flanagan, saw 10,000 copies of his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North fly off the shelves in the week after his win was announced.
Featuring two authors from the UK, two from the US and one each from Jamaica and Nigeria, this year’s Man Booker shortlist included A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler, Satin Island by Tom McCarthy, The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma, and The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota. Michael Wood, chair of the judges, described A Brief History of Seven Killings as the “most exciting” book on the shortlist.
The audio for three of the six shortlisted titles was published by Recorded Books and its family of publishers—A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, Satin Island by Tom McCarthy, and The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota. The audiobook for Satin Island is narrated by James Langton and available from Recorded Books. The audiobook for A Brief History of Seven Killings is performed by a full cast and now available from HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books. The Year of the Runaways will be available from HighBridge in March 2016. Click here for a complete list of this year’s nominees.
“The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year and James’ novel has racked up the accolades and critical acclaim,” said Rich Freese, Recorded Books president and CEO. “To have this book available on audio through HighBridge is a true testament to the quality of titles available from our family of companies.”
For more information or to purchase A Brief History of Seven Killings on audio, visit http://www.highbridgeaudio.com/briefhistoryofsevenkillings.html.
About Recorded Books
Recorded Books is the largest independent publisher of unabridged audiobooks and provider of digital media to consumer, retail, professional, school, library and infotainment markets. The company owns an exclusive catalog of more than 22,000 audiobook titles narrated by professional, award-winning actors. Recorded Books provides digital audiobooks and eBooks, as well as other compelling third-party content, including digital magazines and films, through its proprietary RBdigital Gateway platform. The company operates in the United Kingdom through its W. F. Howes subsidiary and in Australia through its Wavesound subsidiary. Recorded Books, founded in 1979 and headquartered in Prince Frederick, MD, acquired both Tantor Media and HighBridge Audio in 2014.