Writer MARLON JAMES has become the first Jamaican author to be nominated for the prestigious Booker Prize, which had previously only been handed to citizens of Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth. The 47-year-old literary competition was opened up to authors of all nationalities last year (14), and now James' book A Brief History of Seven Killings has landed him his nation's first entry on the award's longlist. Among the other 12 contenders are five American titles, including Anne Tyler's A Spool of Blue Thread, Marilynne Robinson's Lila, and Laila Lalami's The Moor's Account, in addition to The Green Road, by Irish author Anne Enright, and The Illuminations from Brit Andrew O'Hagan. The shortlist will be unveiled in September (15) and the winner of the $80,000 (£50,000) prize will be announced on 13 October (15).