Damon Galgut was born in Pretoria in 1963.
When he was six years old, Galgut was diagnosed with cancer, a trauma which he has described as “the central, cataclysmic event of my life”. He fell very ill, and spent long stretches of his childhood in hospital. His love of storytelling developed at this time as he lay convalescing in his hospital bed, listening to relatives reading stories to him.
Galgut studied drama at the University of Cape Town, and is both an accomplished playwright and novelist. He was only 17 when his debut novel, A Sinless Season, was published. His battle with cancer was given fictional form in his next book, a collection of short stories called Small Circle of Beings (1988). The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs (1991) won the CNA Prize, South Africa’s leading literary award. The Quarry (1995) was made into a feature film, which went on to win prizes on the international film festival circuit.
However, it was not until the publication of The Good Doctor in 2003 that Galgut reached a far wider readership. The story of two contrasting characters in a remote, rural hospital in post-apartheid South Africa, The Good Doctor was enthusiastically received by critics. It was shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize in 2003, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Dublin/IMPAC Award and was published in eighteen countries.
Galgut has written a number of plays and has taught drama at the University of Cape Town. He has been a resident of Cape Town since the early 1990s. He is a keen traveller and, in fact, wrote much of The Good Doctor in a hotel in Goa. He describes himself as “obsessed” with yoga, and owns neither a car nor a television.
His latest book, In a Strange Room was shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize.
Damon Galgut lives in Cape Town.
Sources: Wikipedia and Others
Selected Books by Damon Galgut
- A Sinless Season (1984)
- Small Circle of Beings (1988)
- The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs (1991)
- The Quarry (1995) – made into a film that won the Best Film 1998 Montreal Film Festival
- The Good Doctor (2003)
- The Impostor (2008)
- In a Strange Room (2010)