The New York Times

By the Book: Marlon James

THE AUTHOR, MOST RECENTLY, OF ‘BLACK LEOPARD, RED WOLF’ ADMIRES FANTASY FICTION THAT FEELS ‘WONDERFULLY STRANGE AND ALARMINGLY FAMILIAR AT THE SAME TIME. THAT AND A WOMAN OR MAN WHO CAN WIELD TWO SWORDS.’

Q: What books are on your nightstand?

A: Oyinkan Braithwaite’s “My Sister, the Serial Killer”; Yan Lianke’s “The Day the Sun Died”; Mervyn Peake’s “Gormenghast”; Anna Burns’s “Milkman”; Mike Mignola’s “B.P.R.D.: Plague of Frogs I”; and Dorothy B. Hughes’s “In a Lonely Place.”

Q: What’s the last great book you read?

A: Paul Murray’s “.” I’ve never read anything like it. Just don’t read the jacket copy: That did a pretty bang-up job of making me stay away from it for years — a shame because it’s one of the few true masterpieces of this young century. The very best stories can fool you into thinking that this is the first time you’re seeing a certain world, even as you’re being struck by the familiarity of it. I went to an all-boys high school not much different from Skippy’s. I had every one of Skippy’s friends: the boy with body odor,

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from The New York Times

The New York Times6 min readPsychology
Your Past is Not Your Future: Overcoming Time Management Regret
Time management regret is a jail cell with an open door. Your positive actions are what may grant you an opportunity to walk free.
The New York Times6 min read
By the Book: Ruth Reichl
The food writer and author, most recently, of the memoir “Save Me the Plums” was 10 when she read Henry Miller. “If it’s over her head, she simply won’t understand it,” her mother said.
The New York Times5 min read
5 People Who Can Help You Love Your Body
Learning to love your body — whatever shape or size you may be — is easier said than done, but these people are out to teach all of us that there’s no time like the present to fall in love with who you see in the mirror.