Booker Prize novel Shuggie Bain criticised for depiction of Glasgow

Booker Prize-winning novel Shuggie Bain faces criticism that its negative depiction of Glasgow could harm the city’s economy

  • Novel Shuggie Bain has faced criticism for its portrayal of Eighties Glasgow
  • MSP Pauline McNeill said the Booker Prize-winning book could harm the city 
  • Critics point out that much of the city has since been transformed since then

It has been hailed as a bleak masterpiece, but this year’s Booker Prize-winning novel Shuggie Bain faces criticism that its negative depiction of Glasgow could harm the city economically.

The poverty-stricken image of Eighties Glasgow – with its alcoholism, domestic violence and unemployment – in Douglas Stuart’s book is a damaging stereotype, say Scottish politicians and business leaders.

The semi-autobiographical story of a boy growing up with his alcoholic mother is set in the Sighthill area.

This year’s Booker Prize-winning novel Shuggie Bain faces criticism that its negative depiction of Glasgow could harm the city economically

Douglas Stuart’s book is a damaging stereotype, say Scottish politicians and business leaders. Pictured: Author Douglas Stuart 

But critics point out that much of the city has since been transformed. 

Glasgow Labour MSP Pauline McNeill said: ‘This book could harm Glasgow. Yes, there are large areas of poverty and deprivation, but it is an unfair characterisation.’

However, Bob McDevitt, programmer for the city’s literary festival Aye Write, said: ‘Some areas of Glasgow are still blighted by poverty, drugs, gangs, and crime.’

Glasgow has begun a £250million regeneration of Sighthill that it claims is the biggest of its kind in the UK outside London.

Glasgow Labour MSP Pauline McNeill (pictured) said the book could harm Glasgow

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