Picador signs Stuart's 'gripping' second novel

Picador signs Stuart's 'gripping' second novel

Picador is to publish the second novel from Booker Prize-winning Douglas Stuart: Young Mungo, said to be about “the dangerous first love of two young Glaswegian men”. 

Ravi Mirchandani, editor-in-chief of Picador, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Lucy Luck at C&W and Anna Stein at ICM. 

Young Mungo will be published in April 2022 by Picador, as well as by Grove Atlantic in the US and by Knopf in Canada. ICM/Curtis Brown has so far sold rights to Hanser Berlin in Germany, Gyldendal in Norway, Mondadori in Italy and Bonnier in Sweden. 

“Five years in the writing, Young Mungo is a vivid portrayal of working-class life and a deeply moving and highly suspenseful story of the dangerous first love of two young Glaswegian men: Mungo and James,” Picador said. “Born under different stars – Mungo has been raised Protestant and James Catholic – they should be sworn enemies if they’re to be seen as men at all. Their environment is a hyper-masculine and sectarian one; gangs of frequently violent young men dominate the estate where they live.

“Mungo and James find an unlikely sanctuary at the doocot that James has built for his prize racing pigeons. As they fall in love, they dream of finding somewhere they might belong, while Mungo works to hide his true self from all those around him. But the threat of discovery is constant and the punishment unspeakable.”  

The book is described by the publisher as “imbuing the everyday world of its characters with rich lyricism... a gripping and revealing story about the bounds of masculinity, the push and pull of family, the violence faced by many queer people and the dangers of loving someone too much”.  

Stuart’s first novel Shuggie Bain (Picador) won the 2020 Booker Prize, one of just five debuts – and only the second novel by a Scottish writer – to do so in the history of the prize. At the 2021 British Book Awards, it won both Debut of the Year and Book of the Year and made Book of the Year in numerous publications. The novel is now published or forthcoming in 40 territories. 

Mirchandani said of the new deal: “We all at Picador feel privileged to be publishing Douglas’ brilliant and heart-breaking second novel and delighted to be doing so soon after the extraordinary response to his first. So many readers, from so many different backgrounds and across the world, have responded to Shuggie’s story; we hugely look forward to their embracing the equally deeply involving story of Mungo and James.”