Scottish author Douglas Stuart won the £50,000 (about $66,195) Booker Prize for Fiction for his debut novel, Shuggie Bain (Grove Press). The winner was announced during a star-studded "ceremony without walls" from London's Roundhouse, and was broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Front Row, BBC iPlayer and BBC Arts Digital. Stuart delivered an acceptance speech.
"Shuggie Bain is destined to be a classic--a moving, immersive and nuanced portrait of a tight-knit social world, its people and its values," said chair of judges Margaret Busby. "The heart-wrenching story tells of the unconditional love between Agnes Bain--set on a descent into alcoholism by the tough circumstances life has dealt her--and her youngest son. Shuggie struggles with responsibilities beyond his years to save his mother from herself, at the same time as dealing with burgeoning feelings and questions about his own otherness. Gracefully and powerfully written, this is a novel that has impact because of its many emotional registers and its compassionately realized characters. The poetry in Douglas Stuart's descriptions and the precision of his observations stand out: nothing is wasted."