Last night, the winner of the 2020 Booker Prize for literature was announced.
And the prize went to “Shuggie Bain” by Douglas Stuart. Congratulations to him!
He becomes only the second Scottish author to win the coveted prize since its launch in 1969.
The first was James Kelman back in 1994, with “How Late It Was, How Late”.
Remarkably, this was Douglas Stuart’s debut novel. And — unlike last year when the prize was shared — the judges’ decision was unanimous.
His book sounds extraordinary, and I’m looking forward to reading it. Perhaps it may turn up as a pick at a future DC Thomson Book Club meeting!
I always keep a close eye on the books and authors shortlisted for the Booker.
I know some people feel literary prizes are somehow out of touch with the tastes of real readers, but I have discovered so many fabulous books through lists like these.
Such as “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernardine Evaristo, joint winner of last year’s Booker. It was one of my favourite books of the whole year. I loved it.
That was also true of “The Life Of Pi”, Booker winner in 2002. I resisted the hype around it for years, but when I finally got round to reading it I realised every word of praise was well deserved. It’s an astonishing novel.
It’s also wonderful to see a debut author win such a prestigious prize. At the “Friend”, we have long championed new writers!
So very well done again to Douglas Stuart — I’m off to add “Shuggie Bain” to my Christmas wishlist!
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