Damon Galgut: The Promise
January 24 at 12:00pm
Join award-winning author Damon Galgut for a special conversation about his 2021 Booker Prize winning novel, The Promise, a modern family saga that could only have come from South Africa, written in gorgeous prose. Galgut will be in conversation with journalist Aparita Bhandari.
Haunted by an unmet promise, the Swart family loses touch an after the death of their matriarch. Adrift, the lives of the three siblings move separately through the uncharted waters of South Africa; Anton, the golden boy who bitterly resents his life’s unfulfilled potential; Astrid, whose beauty is her power; and the youngest, Amor, whose life is shaped by a nebulous feeling of guilt. Reunited by four funerals after three decades, the dwindling family reflects the atmosphere of its country – an atmosphere of resentment, renewal, and ultimately, hope. The Promise is an epic drama that unfurls against the unrelenting march of national history.
This event is co-presented with the Toronto Public Library and will be presented on its digital platform. Please click below to register.
Date: January 24 at 12pm ET
Where: Online at Toronto Public Library’s Crowdcast
The Promise charts the crash and burn of a white South African family, living on a farm outside Pretoria. The Swarts are gathering for Ma’s funeral. The younger generation, Anton and Amor, detest everything the family stand for – not least the failed promise to the Black woman who has worked for them her whole life. After years of service, Salome was promised her own house, her own land… yet somehow, as each decade passes, that promise remains unfulfilled.
In this story of a diminished family, sharp and tender emotional truths hit home. Confident, deft and quietly powerful, The Promise is literary fiction at its finest.
Damon Galgut is a South African playwright and novelist, who wrote his first novel aged 17. He’s been shortlisted three times for the Booker Prize and won in 2021 for his ninth book, The Promise. 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.
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