It’s third time lucky for Damon Galgut as, after being shortlisted in 2003 and 2010, he finally wins the Booker Prize with The Promise.

The announcement was made by Maya Jasanoff, chair of the 2021 judges, in a ceremony that was broadcast live to a global audience of millions by the BBC. The Promise is set in South Africa during the country’s transition out of apartheid, and explores the interconnected relationships between the members of a diminishing white family through the sequential lens of four funerals.

The Promise is Galgut’s ninth novel and first in seven years; his debut was published when he was just seventeen.


I'd like to accept this on behalf of all the stories told and untold, the writers heard and unheard, from the remarkable continent I'm part of. Please keep listening to us, there's a lot more to come

— Damon Galgut accepting the Booker Prize 2021, November 3 2021

Damon Galgut, by the numbers


The number of novels, including The Promise, written by Damon Galgut


Years between Arctic Summer, Damon Galgut’s previous novel, and The Promise


Damon Galgut’s age when his first novel was published


Number of times Damon Galgut has been shortlisted for the Booker (2003, 2010, 2021)

The ultimate prize to win in the English speaking world