A Brief History of James

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Brook Stephenson’s nabbed an interview with Marlon James—the two chat about Salman Rushdie, the black hobbit argument, and the difference between The Book You Want to Write and The Book You Think You Should Write:

“I read lots of great books, but that was the book when I said, “All right that’s it, I got to write.” I think, for me, there’s The Book I Should Write and The Book I Wanted to Write—and they weren’t the same book. The Book I Should Write should be realistic since I studied English Lit. It should be cultural. It should reflect where I am today. The Book I Wanted to Write would probably include flying women, magic, and all of that. And I didn’t think that book was allowed.”


Bryan Washington has written for Puerto Del Sol, Ninth Letter, and Midnight Breakfast, among others; he's also the recipient of a Houstonia Fellowship. He lives around New Orleans. More from this author →