MarlonJames is the author of the New York Times bestseller A Brief History of Seven Killings, The Book of Night Women, and John Crow’s Devil. A Brief History of Seven Killings won the Man Booker Prize, the American Book Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Book of Night Women won the Minnesota Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as the NAACP Image Award. MarlonJames is a professor at Macalester College in St Paul. He divides his time between Minnesota and New York.
Victoria “V.E.” Schwab is the #1 NYT, USA, and Indie bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including Vicious, the Shades of Magic series, and This Savage Song. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured by EW and The New York Times, been translated into more than a dozen languages, and been optioned for TV and Film. The Independent calls her the “natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones” and touts her “enviable, almost Gaimanesque ability to switch between styles, genres, and tones.”
SusanCooper is best-known as the author of fantasies for children and young adults, notably the five-book sequence The Dark is Rising, whose awards included the Newbery Medal and two Carnegie Honours. At Oxford she was the first woman to edit Cherwell, and she worked as a reporter for the Sunday Times before marrying an American and moving to the USA. Her books have been translated into 25 languages and she has also written adult non-fiction, a Broadway play and Emmy-nominated screenplays. In 2012 Susan was given the American Library Association’s Margaret A. Edwards Award for her “significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens” and in 2013 she received the World Fantasy Award for life achievement.
In 1931, on a cold dark evening in Oxford, J.R.R. Tolkien gave a lecture on the art of language invention and the relation between myth and language to the Samuel Johnson Society at Pembroke College.
In 2016 Tolkien scholars Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins came to Pembroke to give a talk on Tolkien’s essay, 85 years later, on the exact same location and date.
Earlier this year Dimitra and Andrew published the first ever critical study of the essay, reproducing it alongside a new essay and drafts from Tolkien’s manuscripts, accompanied by detailed editorial notes and introductory material.
Lev Grossman is a novelist and journalist. As a novelist, he is best known for writing the critically acclaimed Magicians Trilogy, comprising The Magicians (2009), The Magician King (2011), and The Magician’s Land (2014). The series has topped New York Times best-selling lists and there are plans to make it into a television series. As a journalist, Lev has written for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, and many others. He has been the Book Critic for Time since 2002.