Scottish writer Douglas Stuart wins Booker prize for novel Shuggie Bain

Ebangla Bureau

Douglas Stuart,44, has won the Booker Prize for Shuggie Bain. It is his debut novel about a boy in 1980s Glasgow trying to support his mother as she struggles with addiction and poverty. Chair of judges Margaret Busby said the judges’ decision was unanimous and they only “took an hour to decide”. The book is “challenging, intimate and gripping… anyone who reads it will never feel the same” she added. The award’s ceremony saw six shortlisted authors joining virtually and included messages from former US President Barack Obama, the Duchess of Cornwall and former Booker winners Kazuo Ishiguro, Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo.
Stuart, who has won the 50,000 Pound prize, delivered an acceptance speech. Based on his own childhood, Stuart’s book is described as a searing account of the boy growing up in Thatcher’s Glasgow. He dedicated the book to his own mother, who died of alcoholism when he was 16. The Booker Prize shortlist also included Indian-origin writer Avni Doshi’s novel ‘Burnt Sugar’.

First awarded in 1969, The Booker Prize is considered one of the leading prizes for literary fiction written in English. The list of former winners features several of the literary giants of the last five decades: from Iris Murdoch to Salman Rushdie, Kazuo Ishiguro to Hilary Mantel. Douglas Stuart was born and raised in Glasgow. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in London, he moved to New York City, where he began a career in fashion design. His work has appeared in the New Yorker and on LitHub. 

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