Marlon James Releases a Sneak Peek of His New Novel

Mark Seliger/ Penguin Random House

We have a small taste of Black Leopard, Red Wolf and now it’s hard to wait until February!

Marlon James is a black writer originally from Kinston, Jamaica. He is the son of a police detective and a lawyer, who introduced him to literature at a very young age. James remembers having strong fondnesses for both O Henry and William Shakespeare as a child.

As a young adult, Marlon James attended the University of the West Indies and spent most of his time studying language and literature. However, he said, “Whether it was in a plane or a coffin, I knew I had to get out of Jamaica.” The future postcolonial novelist knew he had no future in his home country. At the time Jamaica was saturated with a poor economy and homophobic violence that kept him from thriving.

He knew what he needed and left. He received his Master’s Degree in creative writing from Wilkes University in 2006. Since shortly after that, James has been a professor of creative writing and literature at Macalester College where he still works today.


His first novel was rejected seventy times before finally being published in 2005. It is called John Crow’s Devil and was shortly followed by another novel, The Book of Night Women, in 2009. He then wrote the award-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings in 2014. This novel won him The Man Booker Prize in 2015. He was the first Jamaican individual to have been given this honor.

With Jame’s broad range of themes and unapologetic examination of the lives of slaves and postcolonial Jamaican individuals, it is no wonder that there is so much excitement surrounding his next book. He has announced that his latest novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, will be released in 2019 and will be the first in The Dark Star Trilogy. This means there are plenty more incredible things coming from this author.

The best part is, we don’t have to wait to get our hands on this trilogy. James released a sneak peek of Black Leopard, Red Wolf on January 29th, and the full novel is only a few days away.

Marlon James is a shining example of resilience and what it means to fight for your dreams. Most people would have given up after seventy rejections, but he refused. Mark your calendars and pre-order Black Leopard, Red Wolf for its release on February 5th.