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Marlon James. Photo by Mark Seliger.

The year isn't even half over, but now we know who the most influential people of 2019 are, and we know that Marlon James is one of them. We sort of already knew that about James---he's everywhere (in February he was interviewed by Louise Erdrich for Interview magazine), his books get rave reviews and break new ground, and he's mouthy and smart and provocative as heck on social media.

It was with a rather humble "SO THIS HAPPENED" that James let it be known on Facebook today that Time magazine had named him one of the 100 most influential people of the year. And the blurb about him was written by none other than novelist Salman Rushdie, himself rather influential.
James lives part-time in St. Paul and teaches at Macalester College, where he is writer-in-residence. He was born in Jamaica and is the author of "The Book of Night Women," winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; "A Brief History of Seven Killings," winner of the Man Booker Prize, and "Black Leopard, Red Wolf," already being made into a movie. About that book, Rushdie writes,it is "highly original, its language surging with power, its imagination all-encompassing. Marlon is a writer who must be read."
We could have told you that.