Writers Reading Writers
Damon Galgut on How late it was, how late
2021 Booker Prize-shortlisted Damon Galgut, author of The Promise, on why he loves Kelman’s 1994 winner How late it was, how late.
Brutal emotional truths hit home in Damon Galgut’s deft, powerful story of a diminished family and a troubled land.
The narrator’s eye shifts and blinks, deliciously lethal in its observation of the crash and burn of a white South African family. On their farm outside Pretoria, the Swarts are gathering for Ma’s funeral. The younger generation detests everything the family stands 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.
About the AuthorDamon Galgut is a South African playwright and novelist, who wrote his first novel aged 17 and has now been shortlisted three times for the Booker Prize.
The original idea came from a conversation with a friend, who’s the last surviving member of his family
Award-winning audiobook narrator Peter Noble brings Damon Galgut’s The Promise to life.
In this event for Europa Editions, Damon Galgut speaks with Peter Cameron, author of What Happens at Night.
‘When I finished my previous book, Arctic Summer, it didn’t feel to me as if I had another book in me,’ says Galgut in response to how he came to write The Promise. ‘It took a while to kind of dig into myself and find what it was I wanted to say next. ‘
See him read from The Promise, and discuss the genesis for the book and his characters, in the video below.
With The Promise, Galgut’s latest novel, he joins, indisputably, the ranks of other great South African writers