The Village Voice
Claude McKay (1889-1948) was a Jamaican-born poet and novelist who became one of the central figures of the Harlem Renaissance, the 1920s upsurge of black culture that was a central feature of the jazz age. He was also a leading left wing intellectual of the era. This newly discovered novel is a literary and cultural milestone.
The Man Booker prize, given annually for best English language novel published in the United Kingdom, was awarded this week to Marlon James, for his novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings. He is the first writer from Jamaica to win the prize. The novel is a tale of 1970s-1980s Jamaica, CIA plots, and violence. It is "a story about Jamaica that doesn’t only take place in Jamaica," says Kei Miller, who reviewed the novel late last year.
The New Republic
One of the biggest literary stories of the summer has been the controversy over To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee's new novel, Go Set a Watchman. It turns out To Kill a Mockingbird hero Atticus Finch, as portrayed in this new book, was far more racist than fans of Lee's earlier novel remember. Should they have been surprised? Laura Marsh talks to several scholars who say Finch's racism was here all along, if readers had only taken the care to look.