Marlon James and a Handful of Greats (Austen, Woolf, Faulkner, Joyce, Duras)

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Marlon James, author of Booker Prize-longlisted A Brief History of Seven Killings, was a guest at this past weekend’s National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Politics & Prose, the festival’s official bookseller, conducted a Q&A with the critically acclaimed author:

Mrs. Dalloway was crucial to the third section of my novel, which flirts closely with stream of consciousness, sometimes slipping totally into it. I’m a big fan of stream of consciousness, but neither Faulkner’s time bending or Joyce’s sentence smashing worked. There’s a mix of deliberate and rushed thought, huge contemplation and fits of extreme emotion that happens in Dalloway. It was perfect for a section that took up over 200 pages, but really goes on for about seven minutes.”

At an earlier Politics & Prose reading, James cites Jane Austen as a major influence too:

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty interested to see how these paragons of classic literature mix with a story about the attempted assassination of Bob Marley.

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