Damon Galgut Wiki
Damon Galgut Biography
Who is Damon Galgut ?
South African novelist Damon Galgut won the 2021 Booker Prize for fiction with The Promise.
Damon Galgut is a South African playwright and novelist. He was awarded the 2021 Booker Prize for his novel The Promise. He was previously shortlisted two other times for the Booker Prize. Wikipedia
He has taken home the award for the third time after being shortlisted in 2003 and 2010.
Galgut, 57, follows in the footsteps of previous South African winners Nadine Gordimer and JM Coetzee and is the country’s first winner since 1999.
After being revealed as the winner, Galgut said: ‘It has taken me a long time to get here and now that I have, I feel like I shouldn’t be here.
This could have easily gone to any of the other amazing and talented people on this list and a few others who are not.
“This has been a great year for African writing and I would like to accept it on behalf of all the stories, told and untold, the writers heard and not heard, of the extraordinary continent of which I am a part.
‘Please keep listening to us, there is much more to come.’
How old is Damon Galgut ?
November 12, 1963 (age 57 years), Pretoria, South Africa
American historian Maya Jasanoff
American historian Maya Jasanoff, who chaired the judging panel, said: “We felt among the judges that this was a book that really is a tour de force.
“It combines extraordinary history, rich themes, the history of the last 40 years in South Africa, in one incredibly well-crafted package.”
She added: ‘The Promise stunned us from the start as a penetrating and incredibly well-constructed tale of a white South African family navigating the end of apartheid and its aftermath.wikipedia
‘In each reading we felt that the book grew.
With an almost deceptive narrative economy, it offers poignant insights into generational divisions; meditate on what makes a full life and how to process death; and explores the broad metaphorical implications of the ‘promise’ in relation to modern South Africa. ‘
The Promise takes place in Pretoria, where the author grew up, and takes place in the context of South Africa’s transition out of apartheid.
The book tells the story of the decadent Swart family, who are white farmers, through a series of four funerals.
Galgut previously told BBC Radio 4’s Front Row that the idea for the novel’s structure came to him while he was drinking with a friend who described a series of funerals for him.
Early age and education
Galgut was born on November 12, 1963 in Pretoria, South Africa. his father was Jewish and his mother converted to Judaism. At the age of six, he was diagnosed with cancer.
Galgut was the principal of Pretoria Boys High School, and he enrolled in 1981. Galgut later studied theater at the University of Cape Town.
Galgut is gay and has stated that this leads him to focus on more masculine relationships in his writing. Galgut credits Roald Dahl’s short story “Pig” with having had the greatest influence on his writing.
He has been a resident of Cape Town since the early 1990s. He is an avid traveler and in fact wrote much of The Good Doctor in a Goa hotel. He describes himself as “obsessed” with yoga, and for some time never owned a car or a television. Galgut has a “stationery fetish” and writes first by hand in notebooks rather than on a typewriter or computer. After two full drafts, he transfers it to the computer. He has used a particular Parker fountain pen since he was 20 years old.
US historian Maya Jasanoff, who chaired the judging panel, said:
He told the show: ‘It occurred to me that it would be a novel and interesting way to approach a family saga.
“ If all you had was a little window that opened to these four funerals and you didn’t get the full trajectory of family history, as a reader you would have to fill in those gaps yourself.
“As a writer, I am fascinated by the edge of the map; for things that are not said.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, writer Horatia Harrod, actress Natascha McElhone and two-time Booker Prize finalist novelist Chigozie Obioma also participated on the judging panel.
Galgut was announced as the winner of the award at a ceremony that aired on BBC Radio 4 and BBC News Channel.
He receives £ 50,000 after beating the competition from five other shortlisted books.
They are Nobody’s Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood, Richard Powers’ Bewilderment, Maggie Shipstead’s novel Great Circle, Anuk Arudpragasam’s A Passage North, and Nadifa Mohamed’s The Fortune Men.
Galgut, who now lives in Cape Town, wrote his first novel at age 17 and previously won the Barry Ronge Prize for Fiction in 2015 for Arctic Summer, while his book The Quarry has been made into two films.
Douglas Stuart, who won the award last year with Shuggie Bain, was interviewed by the Duchess of Cornwall during the ceremony.
The Booker Prize, first awarded in 1969, is open to writers of any nationality whose work is written in English and published in the UK or Ireland.
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Damon Galgut Quick and Facts
- The South African author won the £50,000 prize for his novel, The Promise
- Damon Galgut had previously been shortlisted for the award in 2013 and 2010
- His novel is set in his native Pretoria and deals with the transition from apartheid
- Galgut, 57, who lives in Cape Town, wrote his first novel at the age of just 17