Brought to you by Penguin.
** WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2021 **
This audiobook includes bonus content of Damon Galgut in conversation with Ted Hodgkinson, Head of Literature and Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre.
There is nothing unusual or remarkable about the Swart family, oh no, they resemble the family from the next farm and the one beyond that, just an ordinary bunch of white South Africans, and if you don't believe it then listen to us speak ...
The many voices of The Promise tell a story in four snapshots, each one centered on a family funeral, each one happening in a different decade. In the background, a different president is in power, and a different spirit hangs over the country, while in the foreground the family fights over what they call their farm, on a worthless piece of land outside Pretoria.
Over large jumps in time, people get older, faces and laws and lives all change, while a brother and sister circle around a promise made long ago, and never kept ...
'Astonishing' Colm Tóibín
'Gorgeous and pleasurable' Tessa Hadley
'The most important book of the last ten years' Edmund White
© Damon Galgut 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021
Stunning . . . Galgut deploys every trick in the book; he's heart-swellingly attentive to emotional complexity . . .
Galgut seems to deliver effortlessly...there's nothing he can't do... [his] style is quiet but the book feels bursting with life because of all the of all the off-page, between-times details he hints at... This is so obviously one of the best novels of the year... a book that answers the question "what is a novel for?" With a simple: "This!"
The Promise functions as a spare but thoroughly satisfying parable, the decline of the Swarts into moral degeneracy and death tracing the forsaken promises of the post-apartheid era, from early hope to the contemporary realities of corruption and racial enmity . . . [a] magisterial, heart-stopping novel
A complex, ambitious and brilliant work - one that provides Galgut's fullest exploration yet of the poisonous legacy of apartheid . . . Galgut describes his characters with rare assurance and skill, conjuring them to life in a narrative voice that moves restlessly from character to character . . . Rarely have I had such a strong sense, while reading a novel, that I myself was there, in the room with the characters
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 folktale 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
The Promise, winner of the Booker Prize 2021, is Damon Galgut’s quietly powerful story of a family, a country, and the failed promises that destroy them both. Read the first chapter here.
The author of the 2021 Booker Prize-winning novel The Promise on how cinema, theatre, and language all coalesced in his novel’s account of a white South African family’s downfall.