Damon Galgut Is a Finalist for the 2022 Rathbones Folio Prize

The South African stylist, just announced as the February 2022 cover star of Open Country Mag, makes the shortlist with his Booker Prize-winning novel The Promise.
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Author Damon Galgut at the 2021 Booker Prize Awards Ceremony in London, Wednesday Nov. 3, 2021. South African writer Damon Galgut wins the Booker Prize for fiction for “The Promise”. (David Parry/PA via AP)

Author Damon Galgut at the 2021 Booker Prize Awards Ceremony in London, Wednesday Nov. 3, 2021. South African writer Damon Galgut wins the Booker Prize for fiction for “The Promise”. (David Parry/PA via AP)

Damon Galgut, just revealed as our February 2022 cover star, has been announced as a finalist for the Rathbones Folio Prize. The South African author took one of the eight spots jostling for the £30,000 award, after winning the Booker Prize last year for the same book, The Promise.

The Rathbones Folio Prize was founded as an alternative to the Booker Prize, after comments by the 2011 Booker judges suggested they would sacrifice quality for books that “zip along.” It is open to all works written in English and published in the UK. Previous winners include George Saunders and Akhil Sharma.

Published in March 2021 by Chatto & Windus, Galgut’s The Promise received great acclaim. The New York Times praised its “cinematic present tense and kaleidoscopic point of view.” The Guardian wrote, “His third-person narration darts between characters, mid-paragraph or even mid-sentence, swooping over the action to itemize someone’s secret fears, or how many times (and what) a household’s toilets flush over a two-hour period.” The paper predicted his eventual Booker prize win.

The eight Folio Prize finalists were chosen from a longlist of 20 titles which were simultaneously announced. They include Natasha Brown’s Assembly, Selima Hill’s Men Who Feed Pigeons, Philip Hoare’s Albert and the Whale, Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These, Gwendoline Riley’s My Phantoms, Sunjeev Sahota’s China Room, and The Magician by Colm Tóibín.

The 2022 Rathbones Folio winner will be announced on March 23, in a live ceremony at the British Library, London.

Emmanuel Esomnofu
Emmanuel Esomnofu is a staff writer at Open Country Mag. He is a culture journalist and has written extensively on Nigerian music and on several moving parts of popular culture. His writing appears online in Native Mag, Okay Africa, Kalahari Review, Praxis Magazine, and elsewhere. He was published in print in The Muse, the oldest student journal in West Africa. In December 2020, he worked on "Fuji: A Opera" as a copywriter, creating informative and exciting stories from Fuji's rich history.

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