Shuggie Bain named Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year

Shuggie Bain named Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year

Douglas Stuart's Booker-shortlisted novel Shuggie Bain (Picador) has been named Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2020.

Described as a “firm favourite” of the chain's Scottish booksellers, the novel charts the endeavours of its eponymous protagonist – a sensitive boy growing up in 1980s Glasgow, constantly struggling to fit it and at the same time trying to save his beloved mother from the grip of addiction without being destroyed himself.

Angie Crawford, Waterstones Scottish buying manager, said: “Every now and again, a book will come along that just knocks you off your feet and makes you think and see the world in a different way. Shuggie Bain is one of those rare books. Incredibly powerful and written with startling precision and humour, Shuggie Bain is a most magnificent read and we are incredibly proud to crown it our Scottish Book of the Year 2020.”

Stuart described the book's selection as an “incredible honour” and said Scotland and Glasgow were the most important characters in the book.

He said: “I was inspired to write Shuggie Bain because I wanted to show a different side of the city and her people, to capture the Bain family in all their gallusness, compassion, resilience and sorrow. If you are a writer who was fortunate enough to grow up in Glasgow, you have such a rich city, bursting with humanity and humour, to draw upon.”

Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year specifically champions books by authors based in Scotland, or titles that have a strong Scottish setting. Sales of the 2019 winner, Andrew Miller’s Now We Shall Be Entirely Free (Sceptre) increased by 900% following the announcement of the award, the chain said.