Damon Galgut said he was accepting the prize “on behalf of all the stories told and untold, the writers heard and unheard, from the remarkable continent that I’m part of”.
Global (04 November 2021) – South Africa playwright and novelist – Damon Galgut – has finally won the prestigious Booker Prize for his novel, The Promise!
The Booker Prize is the leading literary award in the English speaking world and has brought recognition, reward and readership to outstanding fiction for over five decades. Each year, the prize is awarded to what is, in the opinion of the judges, the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK and Ireland. It is a prize that transforms the winner’s career. The winner receives £50,000 as well as the £2,500 awarded to each of the six shortlisted authors. Both the winner and the shortlisted authors are guaranteed a global readership and can expect a dramatic increase in book sales.
Galgut’s win was announced by Maya Jasanoff, chair of the 2021 judges, in a ceremony that was broadcast live to a global audience of millions by the BBC.
The Promise is set in South Africa during the country’s transition out of apartheid, explores the interconnected relationships between the members of a diminishing white family through the sequential lens of four funerals. The Promise is Galgut’s ninth novel and first in seven years; his debut was published when he was just seventeen.
Galgut wrote his first novel aged 17 and has now been shortlisted three times for the Booker Prize.
His ninth novel, The Promise, is on the 2021 Booker shortlist. Galgut is a multi-award-winning author, and two films have been made of his book The Quarry. He grew up in Pretoria, where The Promise is set, and now lives in Cape Town. When asked why he became a writer, he reveals he had lymphoma as a child, during which time he ‘learned to associate books and stories with a certain kind of attention and comfort’. He is currently working on a collection of short stories.