Festival Program

City Program

Douglas Stuart: Shuggie Bain

Sat 4 Sep, 11am
The Capitol

Douglas Stuart‘s Shuggie Bain won the 2020 Booker Prize for its unsparing yet tender portrayal of an alcoholic mother and her son in Thatcher-era Glasgow. Informed by Stuart’s own childhood and likened to the writing of Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life), the novel is an exploration of queerness, abuse and poverty, buoyed by the unsinkable love of young Shuggie for his ailing mum. Appearing live on screen from New York, the author speaks with on-stage interviewer Ronnie Scott about the book’s runaway popularity, the complex filial bond at its heart, and why the story still rings true after years of austerity in the UK.

Supported by ARA


1 hour


Event artists

Ronnie Scott is a senior lecturer in the writing and publishing discipline at RMIT University and program manager of the Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing). He's a lead researcher on Folio: The Story of Australian Comics 1980-2020. His novel The Adversary (2020) was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Award and the ALS Gold Medal.

Douglas Stuart was born and raised in Glasgow. After graduating from the Royal College of Art, he moved to New York, where he began a career in design. Shuggie Bain is his debut novel. It won the Booker Prize 2020, has been shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize and the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker.

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