Conversation: “Between the Lines: Speculative Fiction with Courttia Newland & Marlon James”

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Hosted by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, “Between the Lines: Speculative Fiction” is an online conversation between Courttia Newland and Marlon James, with moderator Rochelle Spencer (moderator), taking place on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 6:30pm. Online: Register here or through

Join us as we explore the contours of speculative fiction and get between the lines of Courttia Newland’s newest novel, A River Called Time. Described as a monumental speculative fiction story of love, loyalty, politics, and conscience, it takes place in an alternative London, devastated by war and climate change. Newland will be joined by New York Times bestselling author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Marlon James and moderator, Rochelle Spencer, author of AfroSurrealism: The African Diaspora’s Surrealist Fiction

This program will be streamed on Zoom and simulcast to Youtube. You must register with your email address in order to receive the link to participate. Please check your email shortly before the discussion to receive the link. Captions for this event will be provided.

GET THE BOOK | Readers everywhere who wish to pre-order the book can do so online at The Schomburg Shop.  All proceeds benefit The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.


Courttia Newland is the author of seven books including his much-lauded debut, The Scholar. His last novel, The Gospel According to Cane, was published by Akashic in 2013. In 2016 he was awarded the Roland Rees Bursary for playwriting. As a screenwriter, he has written two episodes of the Steve McQueen BBC series Small Axe. A River Called Time is his latest book. Courttia Newland photo credit: Sharron Wallace

Marlon James was born in Jamaica in 1970. He is the author of the New York Times-bestseller Black Leopard, Red Wolf, which was a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction in 2019. His novel A Brief History of Seven Killings won the 2015 Man Booker Prize. James is also the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and his first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. James divides his time between Minnesota and New York. [Marlon James photo credit: Jeffrey Skemp.]

Rochelle Spencer is author of AfroSurrealism: The African Diaspora’s Surrealist Fiction (Routledge 2019) and co-editor, with Jina Ortiz, of All About Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color (University of Wisconsin 2014). Rochelle is an alum of the Clarion West Workshop taught by K. Tempest Bradford and Nisi Shawl, an alum of the Medgar Evers Black Writers Conference, a former board member of the Hurston Wright Foundation, a current member of the National Book Critics Circle, and a recipient of fellowships to the Vermont Studio Center and the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. She teaches themed composition courses, including the Black Utopia, at Fisk University and AfroSurrealism in the graduate creative writing program in Sarah Lawrence College’s speculative fiction track. She is a former griot with Bucknell University’s Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives and Cultures directed by the late critic and scholar Dr. Carmen Gillespie.


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