Author(s): Marlon James
The debut novel of the winner of the Man Booker Prize 2015 Jamaica, 1957 On a day beginning with a bad omen - black vultures, known locally as John Crows, crash through the local church windows - a handsome and charismatic stranger drags the village preacher from his pulpit and takes over both church and congregation. Promising vengeance and damnation, he wastes no time delivering both, and in doing so starts a power struggle that sets the village of Gibbeah on a path to destruction. With language as taut as classic works by Cormac McCarthy, and a richness reminiscent of early Toni Morrison, John Crow's Devil is a terrifying and moving novel about religious mania, redemption, sexual obsession and the eternal struggle between the righteous and the wicked.
'Feels contemporary and necessary, exploring how religion can be used as justification for mankind's deepest urges'. Press Association 'A relentless excavation of an isolated village in which sex, violence and Jesus form a combustible trinity of catalysts and salves'. New Statesman 'Dense, lyrical and richly over the top'. Sunday Times 'Introduces us to his extraordinary talent...James jumps effortlessly between cut-glass English that would not disgrace Jane Austen, and the ripe, flexible, witty language of his childhood. Superb'. The Times 'James's slice of Caribbean gothic has terrific power and verve: it's quite a debut'. Financial Times 'John Crow's Devil is undoubtedly breathtaking for its imagination and its storytelling'. Independent 'A powerful first novel ... Writing with assurance and control, James uses his small-town drama to suggest the larger anguish of a postcolonial society struggling for its own identity.' New York Times Book Review 'A writer whose importance can scarcely be questioned.' Independent
MARLON JAMES was born in Jamaica. He is the author of The Book of Night Women (Oneworld, 2009), which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His debut novel, John Crow's Devil (Oneworld, 2015), was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and was a New York Times Editors' Choice. A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld 2014), his third novel, won the Man Booker Prize, the American Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Fiction Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and featured in over twenty best books of the year lists. His short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in Esquire and Granta. He teaches at Macalester College, Minnesota, USA.