Prize-winning author and public commentator Marlon James concludes the spring Think Forum lecture series at Case Western Reserve University Thursday, March 29, at 6 p.m. at the Maltz Performing Arts Center with his talk “What Fiction Can Teach Us That History Does Not.” In this talk, James will explore the power of fiction as a tool to make the past come alive.

Think Forum lectures are free and open to all. Reserve free tickets online at or by calling the box office at 216.368.6062.

About the speaker

Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for A Brief History of Seven Killings, making him the first Jamaican author to take home the U.K.’s most prestigious literary award. A Brief History of Seven Killings also won the American Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. James is in the process of adapting the work into an HBO television series.

James’ first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was rejected 70 times before being accepted for publication. John Crow’s Devil went on to become a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, as well as a New York Times Editor’s Choice. His second novel, The Book of Night Women, won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction, as well as an NAACP Image Award.

In 2015 James’ widely read essay, “From Jamaica to Minnesota to Myself,” appeared in the New York Times Magazine, and in early 2016, his viral video “Are you racist? ‘No’ isn’t a good enough answer” received millions of hits.

About the series

Think Forum lectures allow the campus community and Greater Cleveland residents to engage with prominent academic leaders and national experts. Each presentation allows for a lively question-and-answer session with the audience.

Free shuttle service is offered for all Think Forum lectures. Shuttles depart from outside the Tinkham Veale University Center Linsalata Entrance (on Bellflower Road) beginning at 5 p.m. Return shuttles depart from the Maltz Performing Arts Center at the conclusion of the lecture.

Learn more about the series at