Douglas Stuart reacts to the news that he has won
The pandemic prize, livestreamed in lieu of having the literary world in attendance, was a rags to rag-trade to riches story when the erstwhile fashion designer Douglas Stuart won.
Stuart’s Shuggie Bain is a Mcbildungsroman set in working-class Glasgow in the febrile 1980s and the character of Shuggie reflected something of the author’s own difficult childhood. The novel was a serial rejectee, being turned down by some 30 publishers before being picked up by Picador.
Stuart, who had a career in fashion in New York, cited the only other Scottish winner as an inspiration; reading James Kelman, he said, was one of the first times he ‘had seen his people and dialect on the page’.