South African Damon Galgat wins the Booker Prize for his novel ‘The Promise’

South African novelist and playwright Damon Galgate won the prestigious British literary prize on Wednesday evening for his novel “The Promise”, which tells the story of a family of white farmers after the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa.

The name of the award winner was announced during a ceremony attended by all the finalists, unlike last year’s version that was held via video due to the restrictions of the Corona pandemic.

Galgit (57 years), who qualified for the third time to the finals of the award, after receiving the prestigious literary award; “I am humbly grateful.”

“It took a long time to get here, and now that I’ve achieved it I feel I shouldn’t be here,” added the author, who wrote his first novel at the age of 17.

time lapse effect

The white South African writer said he wanted the critically acclaimed novel to show how “the passage of time” affected a family, a country, its politics and “concepts of justice”.

He noted that “this year has been remarkable for African literature”, saying that he accepts the award “for all stories told and those not told”, and for writers known or obscure “from the remarkable continent to which I belong”. “Please keep listening to us, there is more to come,” he added.

Set in the period between the end of apartheid and the presidency of Jacob Zuma, “The Promise” depicts the gradual dissolution of a white family from Pretoria as the country progresses down the path to democracy.

The New Yorker described his novel as “striking”, while the South African Sunday Times said it was “surprising to see how much history Gallagt manages to put into this short novel”.

The fictional realist novel charts the shattering journey of a white South African family living on a farm outside of Pretoria.

The Swarts gather at a funeral, and then disperse, and the younger generation hates everything their family stands for, including the unfulfilled promise of the black woman who worked with them and served them all her life.

After years of service, the maid was promised a house and land of her own, but somehow as decade after decade went by, that promise was not fulfilled.

The narrator’s eye changes and flashes, fluidly moving between characters, flying in their dreams, as the country transitions from old deep divisions to its so-called new, more just society, the lost promise swirling behind the novel’s title over the four decades of apartheid to the present day.

The novel The Promise charts the shattering story of a white South African family living on a farm outside Pretoria (the island)

tough choice

The Booker Prize has been rewarded annually since its launch in 1969 for the “best novel written in English”, and the winner receives a financial reward of 50,000 pounds ($68,000) while opening the doors to international fame.

Booker committee chair historian Maya Yasanov said the choice was “difficult”, but “after many conversations we reached a consensus on the novel” due to its “amazing originality and fluidity”, and described “The Promise” as “dense and full of historical and allegorical connotations.”

The list of the six finalists was divided equally between the sexes, and included, in addition to the winning novelist, 3 Americans; They are Patricia Lockwood, 39, for her debut novel, “No One Is Talking About This,” Richard Powers, 64, for his book “Bewilderment,” and Maggie Shipstead, 38, for The Great Circle, in addition to the Somali-British, Nathiya Mohamed, 40, for “The Fortune Men,” and Sri Lankan Anuk Arudbragasam, 33, for “A Passage North.”

Patricia Lockwood’s “No One Is Talking About This” tells the story of an American social media addict that turns poignant and poignant, and the story raises questions about the superficiality of the virtual world in which the heroine lives without succeeding in getting out of it.

In “Biowilderment,” Richard Powers, who won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize, tells the story of an astrobiologist’s escape into a world of fantasy with his behaviorally disturbed son.

Maggie Shipstead’s Great Circle takes readers on a journey that unravels the intertwining of fates between a 20th-century female pilot and a modern-day Hollywood star.

“The Fortune” by British Somali novelist Nafiya Mohamed, 40, is based on the true story of a Somali who was unjustly sentenced and executed for the murder of a woman in Cardiff Harbor, Wales, in 1952.

A Passage North by Sri Lankan writer Anouk Arudpragasam recounts the painful memories and ongoing trauma of the aftermath of the Sri Lankan Civil War.

The five members of the Booker Prize Committee selected the six novels from among 158 novels published in Britain or Ireland between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021.

The prize was awarded last year to Scotsman Douglas Stewart for his first novel, “Shaggy Bean”, which revolves around a family of workers in Glasgow suffering from alcoholism and poverty in the early eighties of the last century.

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