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Shuggie Bain picks up another major literary award

·2-min read

Douglas Stuart’s debut novel Shuggie Bain has picked up another major literary prize.

Shuggie Bain, about a boy growing up amid poverty and addiction in 1980s Glasgow, won book of the year at the British Book Awards.

The announcement was made during a virtual ceremony.

Judges said Shuggie Bain, which won the Booker Prize last year, is a “classic”.

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Speaking from his home in New York, Scottish-American writer Stuart said: “Shuggie Bain wouldn’t be in the world without the support of my family, and obviously my mother, who is at the very heart of the novel, but I would like to thank all the British booksellers and readers who have really taken Shuggie and Agnes to heart.

“My thanks to the amazing team at Picador, who took a chance on my wee sad Scottish book.

“And to everybody who embraced the story and – especially in such a tough and weird year – has kept literature at the heart of our  communities. I’m so grateful for you.”

Book of the Year judge Peter Frankopan said: “It is an immensely powerful book and an unusual one too. We were incredibly impressed by the writing, but also by the way the book came about, and by how it was supported by the author and the publisher.

“A very worthy winner from a very strong field.”

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The British Book Awards are produced by the UK’s book trade magazine The Bookseller.

They ceremony came after a strong year for publishing which saw the industry weather the storm of the pandemic.

Other winners included Richard Osman, who was named author of the year, despite his book The Thursday Murder Club losing in the category of crime & thriller.

The book of the year prize in that category went to Troubled Blood, written by JK Rowling under her pen name Robert Galbraith.