Monday, January 11, 2016

The Night Marlon James Stayed At My House

I was flipping through the latest Rolling Stone when I turned a page and saw a photo of Marlon James.  I recognized him because he stayed at my house once.  About a decade ago, I used to put up touring writers at my house.  I had some fun folks pass through including Crazy Carl Robinson, Sean Carswell, Mike Faloon, and The Rev. Rich Mackin.  It was nice cross section of the zine scene mixed with some other parts of the indie lit world.  Marlon was traveling with Mickey Hess and Joe Meno.  They did a reading at Mac's Backs in Cleveland Heights, Ohio USA back in August of 2005, and I provided the introduction for the audience.  I don't remember much about the night in question, aside from Marlon advising me that if I ever wanted to hide something in Jamaica that I should put a book on top of it because no one would ever pick up a book.  I assume that was a joke, but feel free to try it out when next hiding valuables in Jamaica.  In any case, it is nice to see one of the many fine up and coming writers from that era make a larger mark in the world of literature.  Marlon won the Man Booker Prize last year.  Before him, the biggest celebrity who stayed over was probably Mariko Tamiki, who won a few awards for her graphic novels years later.  I no longer put up random strangers at the house (one too many folks wouldn't even leave a zine behind as a thank you for saving them a hotel bill, and one time I even had to mail someone's forgotten towel back--ugh!), but mostly it was a fun little era while it lasted.  Readers should check out some of the other writers I put up.  They're very good also.     

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