Professionally, 2014 was a pretty amazing year for Jamaican author Marlon James. The Macalester College professor's third novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, is a sprawling, 700-page work of fiction that examines decades of Jamaican history, from Bob Marley's 1970s assassination through the '90s. Upon publication, it received quite a bit of critical acclaim, and people outside of the book industry took notice. Later that year, James showed up on Late Night with Seth Meyers to chat about his book, teaching at Mac, and the time he tried to break into Prince's Paisley Park. Shortly after his appearance it was announced that he'll be working with HBO on possibly bringing his work to the small screen.
This morning, it was announced that James has made the short list for the prestigious Man Book prize for fiction. He is the first Jamaican author to be nominated. The winner will be announced in October. Meanwhile, five other authors (and their publishers) have cause for celebration as well. The other nominees are listed below.
Satin Island by Tom McCarthy (Britain)
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria)
The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota (Britain)
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler (U.S.)
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (U.S.)