Thursday, 13 August 2015

MEN OF ACTION: Marlon James earns 2015 Booker Prize nomination + Usain Bolt heads Team J’ca squad for Beijing Champs

COUNTRY STRONG: Superstar sprinter Usain Bolt may have already conquered Beijing, thanks to his record-shattering exploits in the Chinese capital at the Summer Olympics seven years ago, but we’ve always felt a repeat appearance was in the cards. And what better occasion could there be than this month’s IAAF World Athletics Championships. Earlier this week, the JAAA officially announced the 53-member delegation that will represent Team Jamaica at the highly anticipated championships, and sure enough, Bolt and his fellow trailblazer Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce top the strong list of sprinters, hurdlers, long-distance competitors and field-event specialist who have a common goal in mind: outshine the rest of the world and bring home the medals. In spite of the pressure that comes with the territory, Bolt has grown accustomed to the weight of expectation that tends to fall on his competent shoulders. “I focus on what’s necessary and what I want out of it and work towards that,” the double sprint champion, who turns 29 in a couple of weeks, recently told an interviewer. “That’s the way I look at it to try not to feel pressured.”

LITERARY GOLD: Of the 156 outstanding novels published last year that earned consideration for the upcoming Man Booker Prize, Jamaican-American author Marlon James has earned one of the coveted spots among the 13 scribes whose books have made the longlist, the semi-final round. James’ widely acclaimed bestseller A Brief History of Seven Killings (which landed on dozens of Best-of-2014 lists around the world), an epic narrative centred on that infamous gun attack that almost snuffed out Bob Marley’s life back in the late seventies, is in the running alongside works by Americans Bill Clegg (Did You Ever Have a Family?) and Anne Tyler (A Spool of Blue Thread), Ireland’s Anne Enright (The Green Road) and Chigozie Obioma (The Fishermen) of Nigeria, to name a few. 2015 marks the second year that US writers have been made eligible for the prestigious award, which was originally restricted to writers from the British Commonwealth. On September 15, the shortlist finalists will be revealed. The overall winner of 50,000 prize will be announced Oct. 13.

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