Otago Daily Times

‘Shug­gie Bain’ wins Booker Prize


LON­DON: Scot­tish au­thor Dou­glas Stu­art won the Booker Prize for fic­tion yes­ter­day with his first novel Shug­gie Bain, the judges say­ing his tale of love and al­co­holism set in Glas­gow in 1980s was des­tined to be a clas­sic.

The 44­year­old Stu­art, who wins £50,000 ($NZ95,900) and is only the sec­ond Scot to have won the prize, said he was stunned.

The book, based on his own child­hood, tells of a young boy grow­ing up dur­ing tough years in Glas­gow with a mother who is bat­tling ad­dic­tion. Stu­art’s own mother died of al­co­holism when he was 16.

‘‘I think I’ve been clear that my mother is in every page of this book and with­out her I wouldn’t be here and my work wouldn’t be here,’’ he said.

‘‘My mother un­for­tu­nately suf­fered with ad­dic­tion and didn’t sur­vive that ad­dic­tion,’’ he told the award cer­e­mony, which had to be mostly held re­motely be­cause of a lockdown in Eng­land to stop the spread of Covid19.

‘‘And so for 30 years I’ve car­ried an aw­ful lot of sort of loss and love and pain, and I wanted re­ally just to tell the story of what it was like to grow up queer in Glas­gow, to grow up with a par­ent who you love but you couldn’t save.’’

Mar­garet Busby, chair­woman of judges, said the novel was grace­fully and pow­er­fully writ­ten.

‘‘Shug­gie Bain is des­tined to be a clas­sic, a mov­ing, im­mer­sive and nu­anced por­trait of a tightknit so­cial world, its peo­ple and its val­ues,’’ she said. — Reuters

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