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South Africa

Damon Galgut

© Nigel Maister

Damon Galgut

Damon Galgut’s 2003 novel The Good Doctor won the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region) and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In a Strange Room (Europa, 2010) was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2013, Galgut was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

All Damon Galgut's books

Upcoming events

The U.S. publication date of Damon Galgut's In a Strange Room has been set for October 15. The novel is one of six titles shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Britain's most prestigious literary award.
The Paris Review, BBC and The Irish Times all featured interviews with Damon Galgut, whose novel In a Strange Room was a finalist for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, the UK's most prestigious literary award.
Damon Galgut will be in New York City and Miami next week promoting his novel In a Strange Room, a finalist for the 2010 Man Booker Prize. Join us in New York for two evenings of books, wine and conversation...
Click here to listen to Damon Galgut discuss his Booker shortlisted novel In a Strange Room on The Leonard Lopate Show.

Latest reviews

  • “The novel’s beautifully peculiar narration aerates and complicates this fatal family fable, and turns plot into deep meditation...Galgut is wonderfully, Woolfianly adept.”
    — New Yorker, Apr 12 2021
  • “Time and again in Mr. Galgut’s fiction, South Africa materializes, vast, astonishing, resonant. And on this vastness, he stages intimate dramas that have the force of ancient myth.”
    — Wall Street Journal, Mar 27 2021
  • “To praise the novel in its particulars—for its seriousness; for its balance of formal freedom and elegance; for its humor, its precision, its human truth—seems inadequate and partial. Simply: you must read it.”
    — Harper’s Magazine, Mar 15 2021
  • ★ “Galgut extends his extraordinary corpus with a rich story of family, history, and grief.”
    — Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review), Mar 3 2021
  • ★ “This tour-de-force unleashes a searing portrait of a damaged family and a troubled country in need of healing.”
    — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review), Feb 22 2021
  • This book is a fictional exploration of the life of one of Britain's finest novelists. It illuminates E M Forster's life in a way that makes you feel on intimate terms with Forster, knowing his thoughts and needs as keenly as your own. “Arctic Summer” is in fact the name...
    — Aug 29 2015
  • — Aug 25 2015
  • Listen to it here.
    — Jun 30 2015
  • — Jun 27 2015
  • About Arctic Summer In 1912, the SS Birmingham approaches India. On board is Morgan Forster, novelist and man of letters, who is embarking on a journey of discovery. As Morgan stands on deck, the promise of a strange new future begins to take shape before his eyes. The seeds...
    — Jun 16 2015
  • I must be drawn to stories where plot is secondary to the emotions explored by the film maker or, in this case, the writer for here is a novel about longing and wanting to connect. Damon Galgut has taken a real figure and written a story that shows how a person is affected when...
    — Jun 9 2015
  • WHEN: I try to get going early, on the assumption that the way you begin your day is the way you continue. But certain books only want to be written at night, so there’s no hard rule where work is concerned. HOW: I work by hand, with a fountain pen, in bound notebooks...
    — Jun 6 2015
  • Arctic Summer is the title of an unfinished novel by E. M. Forster about the tension between marriage and friendship that results when a married man develops a close relationship with a male friend. One can only imagine what Forster would have done with such a theme. Damon Galgut...
    — May 7 2015
  • “Have you any idea,” John Cleese asks Jamie Lee Curtis in “A Fish Called Wanda,” “what it’s like being English?” He laments the rigidity, the inevitable embarrassment, the threat inherent in opening one’s mouth to reveal something authentic. Cleese plays his anguish...
    — Mar 27 2015
  • Arctic Summer review – a skilful reimagining of EM Forster’s life Damon Galgut reveals his affinity with loners in this compelling fictionalised biography of the A Passage to India author Justin Cartwright Damon Galgut, the South African writer, has been...
    — Jan 18 2015
  • Arctic Summer, by Damon Galgut (Europa). This biographical novel traces the life of E. M. Forster as he writes “A Passage to India,” his last published novel, and works inconclusively on “Maurice,” a novel of homosexual love that he never dared publish. Forster yearns...
    — Dec 22 2014
  • Has any major novelist had a career as lopsided as E. M. Forster’s? Between 1905 and 1910, the year that his masterful study of manners “Howards End” became a best-seller, Forster—who was known to friends as Morgan—produced four highly successful novels and was acclaimed...
    — Oct 6 2014
  • The highly metaphorical title of Damon Galgut’s new novel refers to a project begun and abandoned by E.M. Forster immediately after the publication of “Howard’s End” in 1910: a time of outward serenity in its author’s life but one that turns out to have seethed with...
    — Oct 3 2014
  • The term “literary historical fiction” might be used for noncommercial novels set in the past and full of thoughtful allegorical implication. Or one could employ it for a highly specific subgenre, that portion of “fictional biography” consisting of novels about real-life...
    — Sep 26 2014
  • E.M. Forster was a virgin at 37, and his tortuous path toward sexual maturity is a main plotline of “Arctic Summer,” Damon Galgut’s brilliant biographical novel. Its epigraph quotes Forster at age 74: “Orgies are so important, and they are things one knows nothing about.”...
    — Sep 18 2014

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