In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut

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Synopsis

A finalist for the 2010 Man Booker Prize

In this newest novel from South African writer Damon Galgut, a young loner travels across eastern Africa, Europe, and India. Unsure what he's after, and reluctant to return home, he follows the paths of travelers he meets along the way. Treated as a lover, a follower, a guardian, each new encounter-with an enigmatic stranger, a group of careless backpackers, a woman on the verge-leads him closer to confronting his own identity. Traversing the quiet of wilderness and the frenzy of border crossings, every new direction is tinged with surmounting mourning, as he is propelled toward a tragic conclusion.

In a Strange Room is a brilliant, stylish novel of anger and compassion, longing and thwarted desire, and a hauntingly beautiful evocation of life on the road. First published in The Paris Review in three parts, one of which was selected for a National Magazine Award, and another for the O. Henry Prize, In a Strange Room was shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize.




 

About Damon Galgut

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Damon Galgut was born in Pretoria in 1963. He wrote his first novel, A Sinless Season, when he was seventeen. His other books include Small Circle of Beings, The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs, The Quarry, The Good Doctor and The Impostor. The Good Doctor, published in 2003, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Dublin/IMPAC Award and was published in eighteen countries. Damon Galgut lives in Cape Town.  
 
Published October 13, 2010 by Europa. 224 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for In a Strange Room

The New York Times

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“The Lover,” which takes place a few years later, has Damon traveling to Zimbabwe, driven by “the bored anguish of staying still.” There he falls in with three travelers, a French man and Swiss twins, a man and a woman.

Dec 17 2010 | Read Full Review of In a Strange Room

The New York Times

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The Pretoria-born Mr. Galgut, whose 2003 novel “The Good Doctor” was also shortlisted for the Booker, has divided this new book into three sections: “The Follower,” “The Lover” and “The Guardian.” Each title represents a role at which the narrator finds himself unable to succeed, a relationship t...

Nov 24 2010 | Read Full Review of In a Strange Room

The Guardian

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In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Travel writing has such a wretched name these days that one is relu...

May 22 2010 | Read Full Review of In a Strange Room

The Guardian

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In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Damon Galgut's superb new book, In a Strange Room, is about as hedg...

Jul 25 2010 | Read Full Review of In a Strange Room

The Washington Post

The lyrics differ - a little - but the melody of these dirges doesn't change: existential angst gliding along one spare, cool paragraph after another, like a Giacometti statue strutting out of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Dec 07 2010 | Read Full Review of In a Strange Room

The Telegraph

In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut When Damon is in Greece, he meets a long-haired German stranger, Reiner, with whom he becomes enthralled;

May 03 2010 | Read Full Review of In a Strange Room

The Bookbag

Although it concentrates more on the characters rather than the location, his way of creating a – sometimes disjointed – sense of place is skilful, and its uniqueness means it is something I would recommend to friends.

Oct 06 2010 | Read Full Review of In a Strange Room

The Sydney Morning Herald

I confess to having missed a signpost or two first time around in my reading of In a Strange Room, South African writer Damon Galgut's novel which is on the short list for this year's Booker Prize.

Oct 11 2010 | Read Full Review of In a Strange Room

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

I almost didn’t review South African author Damon Galgut’s book In a Strange Room, but I changed my mind, and as it turns out In a Strange Room is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Jan 01 2011 | Read Full Review of In a Strange Room

The New Yorker

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Nov 01 2010 | Read Full Review of In a Strange Room

The New Zealand Herald

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Jul 12 2011 | Read Full Review of In a Strange Room

Fiction Writers Review

In the third novella Damon travels to India with his good friend Anna, who is “in a bad way,” having arrived with “a small pharmacy in her bag, tranquilizers and mood-stabilizers and anti-depressants.” Damon begins to think of her illness “as a persona separate to Anna,” and he realizes that what...

Aug 08 2010 | Read Full Review of In a Strange Room

Publishing Perspective

In South African writer Damon Galgut’s latest novel, which is shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Man Booker Prize, the narrator (also named Damon) describes three different journeys he took as a younger man, one where he filled the role of the follower, one the lover, and one the guardian.

Sep 28 2010 | Read Full Review of In a Strange Room

Reader Rating for In a Strange Room
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