Douglas Stuart with Nicola Sturgeon: Welcome Home, Shuggie Bain
Douglas Stuart’s life was turned upside down when his debut novel Shuggie Bain was declared winner of the 2020 Booker Prize. Overnight, the New York-based fashion designer, who grew up in Glasgow, became an international literary bestseller. We are delighted to welcome Scotland’s latest Booker winner back to his home country for the first time since winning his award, for what will be his first live, in-person discussion about the book that has won a million readers’ hearts.
Based on Stuart’s own upbringing by a loving mother devastated by addiction, Shuggie Bain recounts the challenges of being a Glasgow boy who is working class and gay. Not only does it chart his complicated coming of age, it is also a gorgeous tribute to a woman striving to do the right thing by her son against all the odds. Stuart discusses his bestselling novel with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – and might just drop a few hints about a new novel published next year.
Having recently been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, it is no wonder that many people, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, are reaching for a copy of Shuggie Bain. Douglas Stuart has written this powerful debut novel drawing on his own life experiences.
Set in 1980s Glasgow, which seems to be unravelling under the weight of its own identity crisis, families struggle with unemployment, crushing poverty, and the waves of addiction that are engulfing much of the city. It is a book of both sadness and beauty, a chronicle of memorable characters, their defiance and hope in the face of the grim realities of life and survival.