Five things about Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James

Marlon James, winning author or "A Brief History of Severn Killings", poses with his award at the ceremony for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2015.
Marlon James, winning author or "A Brief History of Severn Killings", poses with his award at the ceremony for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

Marlon James, 45, won the £50,000 (S$106,500) Man Booker Prize on Tuesday (Oct 13) for his novel A Brief History Of Seven Killings, which is based on a 1976 attempt to kill reggae singer Bob Marley. Here are five things about the writer and his book:

1. James is the first Jamaican to win the prize, which was launched in 1969, and also the first from his country to make it to a Booker shortlist.

2. A Brief History Of Seven Killings is partly written in Jamaican patois, but James grew up speaking British English in Portmore, a middle-class area outside Kingston.

 
 

3. Both his parents were with the Jamaican police.

4. His first novel, John Crow's Devil (2005), was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. His second novel, The Book Of Night Women, won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in the United States.

5. In an essay for the New York Times earlier this year, he revealed that he contemplated suicide as a teenager because of the difficulties of growing up gay in Jamaica. He now lives in Minnesota.