Damon Galgut: The Promise

The latest addition to my website is Damon Galgut‘s The Promise, the second in my reading of 2021 African prize winners. This book won the Booker Prize. It tells the story of the Swarts, a dysfunctional white South African family. While she is very ill (she will die at the beginning of the book) Rachel persuades her husband Manie to give the rundown cottage where the maid Salome lives to Salome. He promises to do so, thinking no-one has heard, However, their thirteen year old daughter Amor was just outside and heard it all. We follow the family over the years, from the latter years of apartheid to modern times, with Amor trying to get justice for Salome and the family drifting apart, squabbling and, in a few cases, dying before their time. The Swarts pay their price for the ill-treatment of their black servant as Galgut criticises the white South Africans for their treatment of the native population.

Leave a comment