Marlon James. Photo by Mark Seliger

Minneapolis writer Louise Erdrich sat down with Marlon James right after the new year to discuss his new book, "Black Leopard, Red Wolf." The interview ran yesterday in Interview magazine.

Not surprisingly, the questions were as thoughtful as the responses. Erdrich asked James about the research he conducted for the book; what music he listened to while he wrote; and the strong female characters he created--which are unusual for that genre.

"This is a trilogy, and the witches’ story is the next book," James said. "Sogolon, one of the witches, tells the next book, and I think her perspective is going to be super interesting, if for no other reason than she’s 350 years old."

Louise Erdrich. Photo by Paul Emmel

Erdrich also asked how it is that in a time when "black culture is being celebrated and dominating certain cultural arenas" that white supremacy can also be on the rise.

James responded: " Whether I like it or not, I’m aware of it at all times. I write about this in my Facebook posts. Being a big black man in America, I literally do not know how to conduct myself in a physical space. I don’t know how to meet people without it seeming intimidating. I don’t know if I should wear glasses, if I should try to look extra gay, if I should stand up, sit down, wave my ID, not reach for an ID. I don’t know. I am literally immobilized in the presence of a lot of police power."

Read the whole interview here.

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