Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 88: Marlon James, The Book of Night Women


This week we welcome guest Asali Solomon, Philly native and author of the new novel Disgruntled. The book Solomon picked for us to read is Marlon James’s 2009 novel The Book of Night Women, about a Jamaican sugar plantation around the turn of the 18th century and the lives of the enslaved women living there. We talk with Solomon about the novel’s contemporary feel and surprising humor, its use of Jamaiacan dialect, and why she considers it to be “a bad-ass book.”


We also talk with Solomon about growing up in West Philly, which neighborhoods of the city she was told to avoid, and how Philadelphia changed in her absence. And why do racist neighborhoods so often have the best bakeries? Of course we also subject Solomon to our usual lightning-round questions, and we learn about several authors she wouldn’t mind punching, if given the chance.

As always, we’re happy to hear what you think about the stuff we discussed. You can email us directly, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. Also: we’re now on Facebook! So come visit us over there, where we are slowly getting better about posting candid studio photos and links to stuff we’ve talked about on the show.

Stream the episode by clicking on the little player thingy below, or download the mp3 file to play on your favorite device. Or visit us in the iTunes store, or wherever you normally get your podcasts, where you can download back episodes and subscribe (for free) so that you never miss another weekly installment.


Download Episode 88 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening!


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

3 thoughts on “Episode 88: Marlon James, The Book of Night Women

  1. Nothing against Tom and Mike’s weekly performance, but the show is always at its best with a guest (perhaps a 3 person dynamic makes for better conversation?). Really enjoyed listening to Asali discuss a book she is loves. I will definitely look for Book Of Night Women next time I’m at the library.

  2. Thanks, Chris! I thought Asali was a great addition to the episode too, and definitely forced us to step our game up.

  3. Pingback: 2015: The Book Fight! Year in Review | Book Fight!

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