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The Promise de Damon Galgut

The Promise (edição: 2021)

de Damon Galgut (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaConversas / Menções
1917113,270 (4.08)1 / 41
Título:The Promise
Autores:Damon Galgut (Autor)
Informação:Europa Editions (2021), 256 pages
Coleções:Read in 2021, E books, Sua biblioteca
Etiquetas:South Africa, Apartheid, family relations

Work Information

The Promise de Damon Galgut


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Mostrando 1-5 de 7 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
58. The Promise by Damon Galgut
reader: Peter Noble
published: 2021
format: 9:37 audible audiobook (304 pages in hardcover)
acquired: November 7
listened: Nov 8-19
rating: 4
locations: South Africa
about the author: South African author and playwright born in Pretoria in 1957

The Booker Prize winner is a satirical and dark look at white owners of a large South African farm. Galgut‘s writing comes across really confident on audio, but also seems to be searching for the right balance of serious themes, human characters, satirical and simple humor. I wouldn‘t call it perfect, but I enjoyed it.

https://www.librarything.com/topic/333774#7664273 ( )
  dchaikin | Nov 26, 2021 |
Third time lucky for Damon Galgut with The Promise (Chatto & Windus), having been shortlisted twice before for The Booker Prize. It’s the first of his books that I have read, and what a brilliant and accessible book to start with. It seems from the unanimous acclaim that this is fully deserved and not one of those where the wrong book from an author won it on the basis of the cumulative effect of multiple, unsuccessful shortlistings. It is set around four funerals within a family over several decades, the forces that bring them together or, more often, push them apart, and an unfulfilled promise that threads through the book. It’s very human and has a clever humour that consistently seasons the text. The characters are acutely drawn, particularly Amor, the youngest daughter of three siblings, and is set against the backdrop of a country with a massive landscape but facing many issues. It’s an exceptional novel and a worthy winner amongst a really high quality shortlist. ( )
  davidroche | Nov 18, 2021 |
A really good book and a worthy Booker winner, but probably not a classic. Reminded me of The Corrections in parts, of Mrs Dalloway in others, and Galgut is obviously an excellent writer but the story doesn't quite deliver the killer blow it feels we're building towards. ( )
  alexrichman | Nov 9, 2021 |
My first ever Pretoria novel. Lightning; brown winter grass; “..the okay side of Akasia”; “the top-of-the-range Ubuntu casket ...highly polished meranti wood and the generous dimensions befitting the giving and open nature of Africa”. And my edition creaks and groans, loudly, as one turns the pages. ( )
  mnicol | Nov 6, 2021 |
"Apartheid has fallen, see, we die right next to each other now, in intimate proximity. It’s just the living part we still have to work out."

This multilayered, rich and insightful Booker Prize shortlisted novel of an ordinary white South African family living in a farm outside of Johannesburg begins in 1986, during the end of the apartheid regime. Rachel Swart has died after a long illness, and her grieving husband and three teenage children convene with extended family to mourn her loss. Just before she died Amor, the introspective and sensitive 13 year old youngest member of the family, overhears a conversation that her parents have in their bedroom, in which Rachel expresses one last wish to her husband:

"Do you promise me, Manie?"
Holding on to him, skeleton hands grabbing, like in a horror film.
"Ja, I’ll do it."
"Because I really want her to have something. After everything she’s done."
"I understand," he says.
"Promise me you’ll do it. Say the words."
"I promise," Pa says, choked-sounding.

The "she" who Rachel is referring to is Salome, the longtime black housekeeper on the Swart farm, who is Rachel's age and one of her closest companions, although she is invisible and given little consideration by the rest of the Swart family, save for Amor. Although it is not overly mentioned Amor interprets her mother's deathbed wish as legally granting over the Lombard house, a rundown shack on the edge of the farm, to Salome, a property purchased years ago by Rachel's father to prevent it from being purchased by an Indian family. This promise could not be fulfilled, as blacks were not allowed to own property, and nothing more was said or done at that time.

The novel consists of four chronologically separate parts over four decades, each part corresponding to one of four members of the Swart family: Rachel, her husband Manie, and their two oldest children, Anton and Astrid. The two characters who are constantly present are Amor and Salome, who maintain a warm friendship despite their physical distance, in a changing South Africa where blacks and whites live uncomfortably alongside each other:

"But enough, we are the rainbow nation, which is to say it’s a mixed and motley and mongrel assembly in the church today, restive and ill at ease, like antagonistic elements from the periodic table."

The promise that Manie made to Rachel remains unfulfilled, which troubles only Salome and Amor, and it serves as a metaphor for the promise of true equality made to black South Africans after the end of apartheid, as whites continue to hold on to their valuable property, which they view as their birthright and something only to be shared with their descendants.

'The Promise' is a compelling look into the life of an ordinary white South African family during the waning years of apartheid and the years that followed, which also permits the reader with a glimpse of modern day South Africa, and relations between the two main races, which leaves out the sizable mixed race and Indian communities. I'm a fan of Damon Galgut's work, most notably his novels 'The Impostor', 'In a Strange Room', 'The Good Doctor' and 'Arctic Summer', but this is his best novel yet, and one that is worthy of this year's Booker Prize. ( )
1 vote kidzdoc | Sep 26, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 7 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Damon Galgut’s stunning new novel charts the decline of a white family during South Africa’s transition out of apartheid. It begins in 1986, with the death of Rachel, a 40-year-old Jewish mother of three on a smallholding outside Pretoria. The drama of the novel turns on a promise that her Afrikaner husband, Manie, made to her before she died, overheard by their youngest daughter, Amor: that Manie would give their black maid, Salome, the deeds to the annexe she occupies. Now that Rachel is dead, Manie has apparently forgotten and doesn’t care to be reminded. Nor does his bigoted family, who regard Amor’s stubborn insistence that Salome should own her home as the kind of talk that “now appears to have infected the whole country”.
adicionado por kidzdoc | editarThe Guardian, Anthony Cummins (Jun 8, 2021)
For three decades the South African writer Damon Galgut has been assessing his country through scrutiny of its white people. His prior novels include the Booker Prize finalist “The Good Doctor,” set at a clinic in one of apartheid’s forlorn “homelands,” and “The Impostor,” an account of a poet self-exiled to the lonely countryside. Galgut’s new work, “The Promise,” studies the Swart family, descendants of Voortrekker settlers, clinging to their farm amid tumultuous social and political change — “just an ordinary bunch of white South Africans,” he writes, “holding on, holding out.” Beginning in 1986, the novel moves toward the present, following Ma, Pa and the alliterative trio of Swart children: Anton, a military deserter and failed novelist; Astrid, a narcissistic housewife; and Amor, an introspective loner who eventually becomes a nurse.
In scope, seriousness, and experimental ambition, modernist writing like {Virginia} Woolf’s sometimes appears to have expired along with its serious and experimental epoch, a moment when political and moral disenchantment was met by a belief in literature’s regenerative power. Yet Damon Galgut’s remarkable new novel, “The Promise” (Europa), suggests that the demands of history and the answering cry of the novel can still powerfully converge. As a white South African writer, Galgut inherits a subject that must feel, at different times, liberating in its dimensions and imprisoning in its inescapability. (J. M. Coetzee once argued that South African literature is a “literature in bondage,” because a “deformed and stunted” society produces a deformed and stunted inner life.) “The Promise” is drenched in South African history, a tide that can be seen, in the end, to poison all “promise.” The book moves from the dying days of apartheid, in the eighties, to the disappointment of Jacob Zuma’s Presidency of the past decade, and the tale is told as the fable of a family curse: first the mother dies, then the father, then one of their daughters, then their only son.
adicionado por kidzdoc | editarThe New Yorker, James Wood (Apr 12, 2021)

» Adicionar outros autores (2 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Damon Galgutautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Noble, PeterNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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