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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