Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Booker Prize goes to novel about a South African Jewish mother’s dying wish

(JTA) — The prestigious Booker Prize for fiction has gone to a South African’s novel about a Jewish woman’s dying wish.

Author Damon Galgut picked up the £50,000 ($68,000) prize at a ceremony on Wednesday in London. “The Promise” spans 40 years of recent South African history, and kicks off when the mother of a white farm-owning clan insists that the family’s Black maid inherit the house she lives in — despite apartheid laws preventing Blacks from owning property.

The mother in the novel returns to her Jewish roots after converting to her husband’s evangelical Christian faith. In a review of “The Promise,” the Jewish Chronicle noted that “Galgut’s descriptions of Jewish observance are impressively detailed, and Judaism comes off well compared with other religious and spiritual traditions that feature in the novel.”

“The Promise” is the ninth book by Galgut, 57. The chair of the judging committee, Maya Jasanoff, described it as “a tour de force.” The Booker Prize is awarded annually to the best novel written in English and published in Britain or Ireland.

The post Booker Prize goes to novel about a South African Jewish mother’s dying wish appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.