24-11-14

Marlon James

 

De Jamaicaanse schrijver Marlon James werd geboren op 24 november 1970 in Kingston, Jamaica, Zijn ouders werkten allebei voor de Jamaicaanse politie: zijn moeder(van wie James zijn eerste proza ​​boek, een verzameling verhalen van O. Henry kreeg werd detective en zijn vader (van wie hij de liefde voor Shakespeare en Coleridge erfde) werd advocaat. James studeerde in 1991 aan de Universiteit van West-Indië, waar hij colleges taal en literatuur volgde. Hij behaalde een master's degree in creatief schrijven aan de Wilkes University (2006). James doceerde sinds 2007 Engels en creatief schrijven aan Macalester College. Zijn eerste roman, “The Book of Night Women” (2009), gaat over de opstand van een slavenvrouw op een Jamaicaanse plantage in het begin van de 19e eeuw. James's tweede roman, “John Crow’s Devil” (2010), vertelt het verhaal van een bijbelse strijd in een afgelegen Jamaicaanse dorp in 1957. Zijn meest recente roman uit 2014 “A Brief History of Seven Killings” onderzoekt enkele decennia van de Jamaicaanse geschiedenis en de politieke instabiliteit vanuit het perspectief van vele vertellers. Het won de fictie categorie van de 2015 OCM Bocas Prijs voor Caribische literatuur.

Uit: John Crow’s Devil

“No living thing flew over the village of Gibbeah, neither fowl, nor dove, nor crow. Yet few looked above, terrified should an omen come in a shriek or flutter. Nothing flew but dust. It slipped through window blades, door cracks, and the lifting clay of rooftops. Dust coated house and ground, shed and tree, machine and vehicle with a blanket of gray. Dust hid blood, but not remembrance.
Apostle York took three days to decide. He had locked himself in the office as his man waited by the door. Clarence touched his face often without thought, running his fingers over scratches hardened by clotted blood. The Apostle’s man was still in church clothes: his one black suit and gray shirt with tan buttons that matched his skin, save for his lips, which would have been pink had they not been beaten purple three days ago. Clarence shifted from one leg to the other and squeezed his knuckles to prevent trembling, but it was no use.
“Clarence,” the Apostle called from behind the door. “Pile them up. Pile them all up. Right where the roads meet. Pile them up and burn them.”
Men, women, and children, all dead, were left in the road. Those who scurried home with their lives imprisoned themselves behind doors. There were five bodies on Brillo Road; the sixth lay with a broken neck in a ditch where the bridge used to be. Clarence limped, cursing the hop and drag of his feet. At the crossroads he stopped.
“All man who can hear me!” he shouted. “Time now to do the Lord’s work. The Apostle callin you.”
Faces gathered at windows but doors remained shut. Some would look at Clarence, but most studied the sky. Clarence looked above once and squeezed his knuckles again. A dove had flown straight into his face, splitting his bottom lip and almost scratching out his left eye. He felt as if more would come at that very moment, but the Apostle had given him strength.”

 

 
Marlon James (Kingston, 24 november 1970)

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