Stuart’s Shuggie Bain: The Debut Book That Won The Booker Prize

Shuggie Bain, an autobiographical and emotional novel by Douglas Stuart, won the 2020 Booker Prize on Thursday.

Art and Culture
1 min read
Scottish author Douglas Stuart wins the 2020 Booker Prize on Thursday

Scottish author Douglas Stuart was awarded with the 2020 Booker Prize on Thursday for his much-appreciated debut novel, “Shuggie Bain.” Set in his home city of Glasgow, the novel revolves around a working-class family in the 1980s and was reportedly inspired by his own childhood. The 44-year-old New York-based writer accepted the prize in a virtual ceremony via video.


Shuggie Bain reflects Stuart’s own experiences about him being the lonely gay son of an alcoholic mother who died from her addiction, according to The New York Times. Stuart regards his work as a “love story” which focuses on the unadulterated love and respect children have for their parents, no matter their flaws or imperfections.

“My mother would be so thrilled, she would be absolutely thrilled and I think she would be proud.”
Douglas Stuart said in an emotional acceptance speech

In addition to carrying “a lot of love and pain”, the author highlighted how the book was cathartic, saying that it was “incredibly healing” for him. Stuart also paid homage to his home city of Glasgow, which he referred to as one of the greatest inspirations of his life.

The five judges, chaired by Margaret Busby, chose him as a winner from the most diverse shortlist of authors in the prestigious prize’s 50-year history.

The author was awarded $66,000 and got immense international attention.

(With inputs from The New York Times and AFP.)

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