Meet the husband-and-wife publishing team who backed Booker Prize winner Marlon James

On the list: Marlon James   AFP/Getty Images

On the list: Marlon James AFP/Getty Images

A couple who set up a small London publishing firm in “a moment of madness” 30 years ago were celebrating today after one of their books won the Man Booker Prize.

Husband-and-wife team Novin Doostdar and Juliet Mabey snapped up A Brief History Of Seven Killings by Marlon James for Oneworld Publications on the strength of the first three chapters. They had already published his previous novel — their first foray into fiction.

James is the first Jamaican-born author to win the £50,000 prize, which was presented last night at Guildhall. His epic tale of violence and crime was inspired by an assassination attempt on Bob Marley.

Mr Doostdar, who started Oneworld with his wife in 1986 after he quit his job in the City, told the Standard: “We were very young and it was a moment of madness. We were students at Edinburgh University together and we often thought at some point we might go into something book-related but we weren’t sure what. I was working for Ernst and Young as an accountant but books and publishing is just much more fulfilling.

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