Family Fables: Damon Galgut and Xiaolu Guo in Conversation

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Two novels examine how societal shifts play out in families and across cultural and racial divides, as one family crashes and burns in South Africa while another begins to take shape in Great Britain. In The Promise by Damon Galgut, a white South African family gathers for a funeral, and generational and racial tensions surface even as the country moves from old divisions to a new, so-called fairer society. Winner of the Booker Prize 2021, this complex, powerful book has been hailed as a literary masterpiece. A Lover’s Discourse by Xiaolu Guo is set in post-Brexit Britain, which a newly-arrived Chinese woman finds increasingly hostile to foreigners, even as she falls in love and begins to build a future. The book reflects with humour and intimacy on the connection between humans, and on migration, language, alienation and love. Jo Lusby moderates a conversation between two eminent modernist writers.

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