So far as we know, Marlon James didn't actually do all that much fiction writing in 2015. But it was last fall that James, a professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, learned he had won the Man Booker Award, the most prestigious literary prize in the United Kingdom, for his A Brief History of Seven Killings. The novel, his third, is a sprawling tale built around a true story of an assassination attempt on Bob Marley in James' native Jamaica. The book wraps in drug warlords, the CIA, and crooked politicians corrupting the island nation's soul. It's not that James set down his pen in 2015. The author produced a series of essays for the Guardian, and one in the New York Times, recounting his years as a closeted gay man in Jamaica, a frequent wannabe New Yorker, and, then unexpectedly but happily, a Minnesotan. "Dead people never stop talking," James wrote in A Brief History. Let's hope he always hears their voices.