‘This is the most important book of the last ten years’ – Damon Galgut’s The Promise eagerly awaited!
 More about the book!

Damon Galgut’s forthcoming novel The Promise is already receiving enthusiastic praise from some big international names!

The Promise, which charts the crash and burn of a white family on a farm outside Pretoria, will be released in the United Kingdom in April, in South Africa in May, and in the United States in June.

Keep an eye on The Reading List for more about the book.

An exclusive excerpt from The Promise will be published in the Johannesburg Review of Books on 15 April 2021.

Damon Galgut is a novelist who was twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize, for The Good Doctor and In A Strange Room. His most recent novel, Arctic Summer, was nominated for the Walter Scott and Folio prizes and his fiction has been published in 16 languages. A film adaptation of his novel The Quarry, starring Michael Shannon, was released in 2020. In 2013, Galgut was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives and works in Cape Town.

Advanced praise for The Promise:

‘Damon Galgut’s The Promise is about an unfulfilled but promising life and about the repeatedly broken promises by a white family to a black household worker. With unostentatious virtuosity Galgut – one of the world’s great writers – enters the minds of all his characters, rich or poor, white or black, male or female, even the thoughts of a homeless man beset by visions. The language has a Flaubertian clarity and the intimate knowledge of the family is matched by an authoritative understanding of South Africa’s complex history. This is the most important book of the last ten years.’ – Edmund White

‘The Promise is a gorgeous and pleasurable novel, with an imaginative heft to match Galgut’s fellow South African writers Gordimer, Coetzee and Brink. It’s richly evocative of the land and its people, and reports on a new South Africa without fake moralising; it made me laugh, too. Dreamlike yet so solidly well-made, The Promise has lived on inside my head, unsettling and troubling me.’ – Tessa Hadley

‘A surprising number of novelists are very good; few are extraordinary. Like his compatriot JM Coetzee, the South African writer Damon Galgut is of this rare company; like Coetzee he is stringent, pure. He has, however, mercifully, a sense of humour, even an occasional playfulness, which leavens that stringency …
‘To praise the novel in its particulars – for its seriousness; for its balance of formal freedom and elegance; for its humour, its precision, its human truth – seems inadequate and partial. Simply: you must read it.
‘Like other remarkable novels, it is uniquely itself, and greater than the sum of its parts. The Promise evokes, when you reach the final page, a profound interior shift that is all but physical. This, as an experience of art, happens only rarely, and is to be prized.’ – Claire Messud for Harper’s Magazine

‘The Promise is fully rooted in contemporary South Africa, but the novel’s weather moves into the elemental while attending also to the daily, the detailed and the personal. The book is close to a folk tale or the retelling of a myth about fate and loss, about three siblings and land, a promise made and broken. The story has an astonishing sense of depth, as though the characters were imagined over time, with slow tender care.’ – Colm Tóibín

‘Galgut understands the complexities of the human heart which he reveals with the finest delicacy. This is an emotionally powerful and thrilling novel that haunts one long after it has been laid down.’ – Gabriel Byrne

‘If possible, The Promise packs yet more of a punch than Galgut’s previous novels. Fuelled by sex and death, this is a South African Gotterdammerung charting a white family’s inexorable decline from significance and power. Its indignation at its morally bankrupt central characters is leavened with languid comedy, as though Galgut had collaborated with Tennessee Williams. The effect is utterly compelling.’ – Patrick Gale

Categories Fiction International South Africa

Tags Damon Galgut New books New releases Penguin Random House SA The Promise Umuzi

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