The Many-Layered Characters of Marlon James

February 10, 2022

At the Brooklyn Rail, Marlon James discusses Moon Witch, Spider King, the second book in his medieval African fantasy trilogy, which features a cast of unforgettable characters. “Man, if you’re in a Marlon James novel, you were constructed haphazardly,” he says. “People in real life, you know, don’t reveal themselves in a sequential way, starting with the A of their lives and taking us to Z. They tell us half-truths, tell outright lies, and then contradict themselves two days later, and so you take all of that and put it into a novel, one in which character dictates development, inevitably you end up with a many-layered work.”

is a writer and illustrator. She is the author of two illustrated books, Last Night's Reading (Penguin Books, 2015) and Sanpaku (Archaia 2018).

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