Damon Galgut is awarded the Booker Prize for his novel The Promise

Damon Galgut (born 12 November 1963) is a South African novelist and playwright. He was awarded the 2021 Booker Prize for his novel The Promise. He was previously shortlisted in 2003 and 2010 for the Booker Prize.


Galgut wrote his first novel, A Sinless Season (1982), when he was 17. His next book, a collection of short stories called Small Circle of Beings (1988), includes an eponymous novella that describes a mother's struggle with her son's illness.


The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs (1991) won the Central News Agency Literary Award in 1992. The Quarry (1995) was made into a feature film, with a 1998 release. A second feature film version was released in 2020.


After The Good Doctor was published in 2003, Galgut's work became better known outside South Africa. The story of two contrasting characters in a remote, rural hospital in post-apartheid South Africa, The Good Doctor was enthusiastically received by critics. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2003 and also won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book: Africa (2003).


His novel In a Strange Room was shortlisted for the 2010 Booker Prize for fiction. Reviewing the novel in The Guardian, Jan Morris wrote, "I doubt if any book in 2010 will contain more memorable evocations of place than In a Strange Room. "She described In a Strange Room as a "beautiful" book that is "strikingly conceived and hauntingly written".


His novel The Promise won the 2021 Booker Prize. Galgut is the third writer from South Africa to win the Booker, following Nadine Gordimer and J. M. Coetzee, who has won twice. He says the theme of the book is time. The original idea came from a conversation with a friend, who is the last surviving member of his family, and told Galgut about the funerals he'd attended for his mother, father, brother, and sister.


In addition to his novels, Galgut has written several plays. At the time of his Booker win, Galgut was working on a collection of short stories.

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