The Duchess Of Cornwall put on a great show as she interviewed Douglas Stuart about his “life-changing year” after winning the Booker Prize for his debut novel Shuggie Bain.
Camilla, 74, unveiled her inner rock chick in a pink leopard print blouse and trouser suit as spoke with the Scottish author, who won the prize in 2020 with Shuggie Bain, during an interview that was broadcast during the ceremony for this year’s award.
Shuggie Bain, based on Stuart’s childhood, is set at Glasgow in the 1980s. It tells the story about a young boy growing with a mother who is struggling with addiction.
The novel is dedicated in part to Stuart’s mother, who died from an alcohol addiction at the age of 16.
The author, 44, spoke about his win and said that it had “utterly transformed” his life. It was all beyond my wildest dreams.
The Duchess was a fashion show as she interviewed Douglas Stuart, author of Shuggie Bains’ Booker Prize winning debut novel, about his ‘life-changing’ year.
Stuart claimed that he didn’t tell anyone when he started writing Shuggie Bain.
He said, “I was trying to create it because it was an incredibly personal project and was thinking very deeply about the Glasgow that I grew up and my mother and my family.”
He said, “Oftentimes mother stories, young queer men living in very masculine areas, are often overlooked. Shuggie, for me, became a very personal record in that way to say that we were always there, and we are also on the landscape.”
He also said to Camilla during the interview that he couldn’t tell Camilla how important the library had been in his childhood.
He said, “It was just very safe.” It was a peaceful space, and you could go there to shut out the outside world.
“Libraries are vital because children need a lot peace in their environment to be capable of focusing on a story but also to feel peaceful within themselves. Libraries are one place that allows them to have those moments of respite, or just to close out the world and read a good book.
Shuggie Bain, a film based on Stuart’s childhood, is set at Glasgow in the 1980s. It tells the story about a young boy growing with a mother who is struggling with addiction.
The writer is the second-ever Scot to win the £50,000 award after James Kelman scooped the prize for How Late It Was, How Late in 1994.
Stuart was born in Glasgow and grew up there. He then moved to New York at 24 to pursue a career as a fashion designer, working for brands like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Gap.
He started writing in his spare moments a decade ago. His short stories have since appeared on the New Yorker.
The author explores poverty in his book.
He was announced as the winner during a virtual ceremony last January, which featured contributions by former US president Barack Obama (now the Duchess) and the Duchess Of Cornwall.
The Man Booker win, according to the author, meant that he could quit his job in fashion and focus on writing.
Margaret Busby, chairperson of the judging board, who unanimously voted to celebrate Stuart’s book, described Shuggie bain as “daring, terrifying, and life-changing”.
She said, “The heart-wrenching tale tells of Agnes Bain’s unconditional love – set on a descent to alcoholism by the difficult circumstances life has dealt her – and her youngest son.
“Shuggie is faced with a multitude of responsibilities, including trying to save his mother. However, he also struggles with growing feelings and questions about himself.
This novel is powerfully written and gracefully written. It has an impact due to its many emotional registers, and its compassionately realized characters.
Damon Galgut’s novel The Promise was awarded this year’s prize. (pictured)
“The poetry in Douglas Stuart’s descriptions and the precision with which he observes stand out: nothing is lost.”
Busby stated that the book will be a classic because it explores poverty and tough upbringings as well as alcoholism.
Damon Galgut’s novel The Promise was awarded this year’s prize.
The Promise is set in Pretoria where the author grew-up and takes place against the backdrop South Africa’s recent transition from apartheid.
Through four funerals, the book tells of the Swart family’s decline as white farmers.