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Douglas Stuart wins 2020 Booker Prize

Douglas Stuart wins 2020 Booker Prize

Debut Scottish author Douglas Stewart has won the 2020 Booker Prize for his novel Shuggie Brain. The prize includes an award of £50,000 ($91 100 AUD). 

Shuggie Brain draws upon Stewart's childhood to tell the story of the titular young boy growing up in 1980s Glasgow with a mother battling drug addiction. 

Stewart has said that the book was rejected by over 30 editors before being picked up by Picador. He was the only UK-born author from a shortlist of six, which was announced back in September

Check out the full announcement video below: 


About the Book

1981. Glasgow. The city is dying. Poverty is on the rise. People watch the lives they had hoped for disappear from view. Agnes Bain had always expected more. She dreamed of greater things: a house with its own front door, a life bought and paid for outright (like her perfect – but false – teeth). When her philandering husband leaves, she and her three children find themselves trapped in a mining town decimated by Thatcherism. As Agnes increasingly turns to alcohol for comfort, her children try their best to save her. Yet one by one they have to abandon her in order to save themselves.

It is her son Shuggie who holds out hope the longest. But Shuggie has problems of his own: despite all his efforts to pass as a ‘normal boy’, everyone has decided that Shuggie is ‘no right’. Agnes wants to support and protect her son, but her addiction has the power to eclipse everyone close to her, including her beloved Shuggie.

Laying bare the ruthlessness of poverty, the limits of love, and the hollowness of pride, Shuggie Bain is a blistering and heartbreaking debut, and an exploration of the unsinkable love that only children can have for their damaged parents.