Custom Search 1

Marlon James working on 'African Game of Thrones' novel

THE WRITE STUFF: Marlon James with his Man Booker Prize 2015 for A Brief History of Seven Killings

AWARD-WINNING Jamaican author Marlon James is writing a Game of Thrones-inspired book with an African spin.

The 45-year-old has spent the last year and a half researching for his new book, Black Leopard, Red Wolf.

Though the new book is fictional, James has been reading up on numerous kingdoms in the motherland and will focus on ancient African empires.

His studies have particularly focused on “lots of Benin, lots of Mali, lots of Songhai, lots of Ghana, lots of the Mossi kingdoms, the Falashas, the Solomonic dynasties in Ethiopia” on which the novel will be based, he told Quartz.

However, that does not mean the book will be considered a historical fiction work.

“To write a novel like this calls for a lot of reconstruction,” James said. “I’m not writing actual cities, because it’s still fantasy, it’s not history… but it’s also clearly influenced by these amazing glorious ages of African kingdoms.”

While James has been inspired by GoT for his book, he is looking to separate it from the popular HBO series – which he readily admits he is not a major fan of.

Even though he is “definitely playing on mythology and history and its swords and sorcery and all of that” similar to Thrones, the writer said he wants to “pull from a different universe of myths.”

“I want to pull from a different body of history. A different kind of language. Even a different way of how we tell stories. That’s what’s been fascinating me and that’s what I’m setting out to do,” he said.

The novelist – who became the first Jamaican in history to win the Man Booker Prize for his most recent novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings last year – told Vulture he was moved to write “an African Game of Thrones” after realising “how sick and tired I was of arguing about whether there should be a black hobbit in Lord of the Rings.”

His comments drummed up lots of excitement for Black Leopard, Red Wolf especially since the Games of Thrones TV show has been heavily criticised for not including black characters, Atlantic Black Star reported.

“African folklore is just as rich and just as perverse as that s**t,” he continues. “We have witches, we have demons, we have goblins and mad kings. We have stories of royal succession that would put Wolf Hall to shame. We beat the Tudors two times over.”

Annual subscription for The Voice newspaper print edition.

Read more stories like this in our weekly printed newspaper. To purchase an annual subscription and get 50% off, complete the form below and enter the code 'ONLINE2017' - offer ends 30 November.

* indicates required
() - (###) ###-####
Facebook Comments