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Douglas Stuart’s ‘Shuggie Bain’ wins Booker Prize 2020

  • Published at 11:29 am November 20th, 2020
Douglas Stuart
Scottish-American author Douglas Stuart Twitter

Douglas Stuart is the second Scot to win the award

Scottish-American author Douglas Stuart has won the Booker Prize 2020 for his debut novel “Shuggie Bain”, which is about a boy who does his best to support his alcoholic mother in the 1980s Glasgow.

After last year’s controversy about the judges choosing two winners, this year’s judging panel has unanimously decided on one winner, reports BBC. 

Calling the book “challenging, intimate and gripping”, Chair of the Judging Panel Margaret Busby said the book was “destined to be a classic — a moving, immersive and nuanced portrait of a tight-knit social world, its people and its values.”

44 years old Stuart, who dedicated the £50,000 award to his mother, said the book was based on his own life. According to The Guardian, he is the second Scot to win the award after James Kelman won in 1994 for his novel, “How Late It Was, How Late.”

Last year, Canadian author Margaret Atwood and Anglo-Nigerian author Bernardine Evaristo jointly won the award for The Testaments and Girl, Woman, Other respectively.

The Booker Prize is the UK’s leading literary award and has been awarded since 1969 to the best original fiction written in the English language and published in the UK. 

Normally announced at a formal dinner in London’s Guildhall, this year’s prize was announced in a BBC broadcast from the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, north London. The shortlisted authors joining in from their homes around the world. The ceremony included the Duchess of Cornwall and former US President Barack Obama.

According to BBC, Kazuo Ishiguro, the 1989 Booker winner for his novel “The Remains of the Day”, joined the socially distanced proceedings, along with last year's joint winners Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo.

To win the prize, Stuart beat acclaimed Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga, the Ethiopian-American writer Maaza Mengiste, and the US writers Avni Doshi, Diane Cook, and Brandon Taylor.


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