Award-winning novelist, short story writer and playwright Damon Galgut is the next speaker in the Great Texts/Big Questions public lecture series. Departing from its usual lecture format, this event features Galgut in conversation with the series convenor and Director of the Centre for Creative Writing, Imraan Coovadia.

Damon Galgut studied drama at the University of Cape Town. He was only seventeen when his debut novel, A Sinless Season, was published in 1984. Small Circle of Beings (1988), a collection of short stories in which Galgut drew on his own experience of serious illness, was followed by the award-winning novel The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs (1991), perhaps his most overtly political book, and The Quarry (1995).

It was not until the publication of The Good Doctor in 2003, however, that Galgut reached a far wider readership. This novel, exploring the relationship between two contrasting characters in a remote, rural hospital in post-apartheid South Africa, was enthusiastically received by critics – shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book from the Africa Region. The Good Doctor was followed by The Impostor (2008).

Since then, he has won and been shortlisted for a host of additional awards, including being on the shortlist for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for his newest novel, In a Strange Room. Galgut has written a number of plays including Echoes of Anger, Party for Mother, Alive and Kicking and The Greens-keeper; his fiction has also been selected for the National Magazine Awards and the PEN/O.Henry Prize Stories Anthology.

Imraan Coovadia graduated from Harvard and Yale, and currently teaches in the English Department at the University of Cape Town, where he is Director of the Centre for Creative Writing. Most recently, he is the author of a novel, The Institute for Taxi Poetry (2012) and a collection of essays, Transformations (2012). In 2010 his novel High Low In-between won the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the University of Johannesburg prize. He also has published a scholarly monograph with Palgrave, Authority and Authorship in V.S. Naipaul (2009), and two earlier novels (Green-Eyed Thieves and The Wedding). His fiction has been published in a number of countries, and he has written for many newspapers, journals, and magazines locally and abroad.

Refreshments will be served from 17:00. No Booking is necessary. For more information on the series, please contact +27 21 480 7156 or

Photo by Nigel Maister.

Damon Galgut audio recording available for download.

Damon Galgut video recording:

Start: 13 Sep ’12 5:30 pm

End: 13 Sep ’12 6:30 pm

Cost: Free


Organizer: GIPCA


Venue: Hiddingh Hall 

Phone: +27 21 480 7156 

Address: Google Map UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa