A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam (Incoming Writing Fellow 2021) and The Promise by Damon Galgut (CRF 2007, DG 2010) have both been shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize.
“Anuk Arudpragasam’s masterful novel is an attempt to come to terms with life in the wake of the devastation of Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war… As Krishan makes the long journey by train from Colombo into the war-torn Northern Province to attend a family funeral, so begins an astonishing passage into the innermost reaches of a country. At once a powerful meditation on absence and longing, and an unsparing account of the legacy of Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war, this procession to a pyre ‘at the end of the earth’ lays bare the imprints of an island’s past, the unattainable distances between who we are and what we seek.”
“Brutal emotional truths hit home in Damon Galgut’s deft, powerful story of a diminished family and a troubled land… The narrator’s eye shifts and blinks, deliciously lethal in its observation of the crash and burn of a white South African family. On their farm outside Pretoria, the Swarts are gathering for Ma’s funeral. The younger generation detests everything the family stands for, not least the failed promise to the Black woman who has worked for them her whole life. After years of service, Salome was promised her own house, her own land, yet somehow, as each decade passes, that promise remains unfulfilled.”
The judges will reveal the winning book during a prize ceremony at the BBC Radio Theatre on November 3rd. Learn more about the prize and the shortlisted novels here.