Damon Galgut's The Promise Has Won The Booker Prize

The South African author had been shortlisted twice before.

the promise by damon galgut, winner of the booker prize 2021

A few weeks ago, six authors were shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize. Since then, Damon Galgut has emerged as the winner of the £50,000 prize for his novel about a family living in post-apartheid South Africa. The Promise was lauded by the prize judges as "a spectacular demonstration of how the novel can make us see and think afresh."

The judges also praised Galgut's "unusual narrative style" in The Promise. In an interview with The Guardian, Galgut explained that a job he took writing a film script made him realize “that the narrator could behave like a camera, moving in close and then suddenly pulling far back, jumping from one character to another in the middle of a scene, or even a sentence, or following some side-line of action that has nothing to do with plot."

This was not the first time Galgut had been shortlisted for the Booker Prize—he had done so twice before, in 2003 for The Good Doctor and 2010 for In a Strange Room. However, he doesn't enjoy the attention that comes with being shortlisted—as he told The Guardian in an earlier interview about The Promise, "both shortlistings probably shaved a few years off my life."

Damon Galgut Books

the promise by damon galgut, winner of the booker prize 2021

The Promise

By Damon Galgut

“The novel carries within it the literary spirits of Woolf and Joyce... To praise the novel in its particulars—for its seriousness; for its balance of formal freedom and elegance; for its humor, its precision, its human truth—seems inadequate and partial. Simply: you must read it.”—Claire Messud, Harper’s Magazine