Damon Galgut shortlisted for 2021 Booker Prize

15 September 2021 - 09:29
By Mila de Villiers

It was announced on Tuesday that acclaimed South African playwright and novelist Damon Galgut’s latest title The Promise has been shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize.

First awarded in 1969, the Booker Prize is regarded as the leading award for high-quality literary fiction written in English. This marks the third time Galgut has been shortlisted for this prestigious prize, with two of his novels The Good Doctor (2003) and In a Strange Room (2010) previously making the cut. 

Published by Umuzi, an imprint of Penguin Random House, The Promise examines the decline of a prejudiced Afrikaner family during SA’s transitional period, beginning in the mid-1980s and concluding in 2018. 

Galgut’s publisher Fourie Botha describes the novel as “a book about land that can change the moral landscape of our country”.

Steve Connolly, CEO of Penguin Random House SA, says: “Damon Galgut has kept South African and international readers spellbound with his words for many years. Now, for the third time, his talent has been recognised by the Booker panel of judges by including him in the shortlist for 2021. The Promise takes us through the tensions, prejudices, lies and losses of an “ordinary” family. It is a powerful book that often makes you uncomfortable, yet leaves you feeling buoyed by the sheer beauty of his prose. We are so proud of our long association with Damon as his South African publisher and wish him luck for the final award.”

The winner will be announced during a prize ceremony in London at the BBC Radio Theatre on November 3.

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