Penguin Random House: PRHUK’s “The Promise” 2021 Booker Prize Winner

Damon Galgut is the winner of the 2021 Booker Prize. Published by Penguin Random House UK’s Chatto & Windus and Vintage UK imprints, “The Promise” was the selection of the panel of deliberating judges, announced the evening of November 3 in London at a ceremony live-streamed by the BBC worldwide, with all six shortlisted authors present in person.

Noting that each of the judges read the entire shortlist three times, giving them time for reflection, discussion, and ultimately consensus, Maya Jasanoff, Chair of the 2021 Judges, said that choosing a winner was “incredibly difficult,” with each nominee engendering “passionate support.” She praised Mr. Galgut’s work as “a book that really is a master of form and pushes the form in new ways, that has incredible originality and fluidity of voice. And a book that is really dense with historical and metaphorical significance.”

A “stunned” Mr. Galgut, who had been shortlisted for the Booker twice previously, profusely thanked his Chatto & Windus publishing group, and appreciatively joined his work with the overdue attention fiction writing about Africa is enjoying this year.

It is humbling to note that each of this year’s six Booker shortlist honorees is published by at least one Penguin Random House English-language imprint in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.: A PASSAGE NORTH by Anuk Arudpragasam; NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS by Patricia Lockwood; GREAT CIRCLE by Maggie Shipstead; THE FORTUNE MEN by Nadifa Mohamed; and BEWILDERMENT by Richard Powers.

In 2019, “The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood, published by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, Random House Audio in the U.S., McClelland & Stewart in Canada, and our UK sister imprint Chatto & Windus, and Bernadine Evaristo’s “Girl, Woman, Other,” published by PRHUK’s Hamish Hamilton imprint, unprecedentedly shared the Booker. Previous Prize winners we have published include Richard Flanagan (THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH, 2014), Marlon James (A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEVEN KILLINGS, 2015), and George Saunders (LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, 2017).

This year’s annual Booker Prize, one of the world’s most coveted cultural awards, was open to works written in English and published in the U.K. and Ireland between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021.

Hearty Penguin Random House-wide congratulations to Damon Galgut, his publishing team—and, those supporting our finalists, from the respective Hogarth, Riverhead, Knopf, Penguin Random House Audio, Random House Canada, Penguin Random House Canada, Viking UK, Penguin UK, Hutchinson Heinemann, Doubleday, Transworld publishing teams — and also to our 2021 longlisters: KLARA AND THE SUN by Kazuo Ishiguro; CHINA ROOM by Sunjeev Sahota; and A TOWN CALLED SOLACE by Mary Lawson.

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