Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain

Domenico Di Rosa (University of Glasgow)
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Shuggie Bain

is Douglas Stuart’s debut novel. Set in Glasgow between 1981 and 1992, it follows young Hugh (“Shuggie”) Bain’s growing up in a dysfunctional family. His philandering father, Shug, works as a cab driver and is mostly absent from family dynamics, whereas his mother Agnes copes with Shug’s cheating and sexual abuse by developing an alcohol addiction. The novel realistically portrays the precariousness of Glasgow’s working class, following a destructive Conservative government that generated a post-industrial decline and exacerbated the city’s violent response to class divide and sectarianism. The novel presents a cyclical structure, opening and ending in 1992 with Shuggie as a teenager who must face life alone in the South Side following Agnes’ death. He dreams…

1596 words

Citation: Di Rosa, Domenico. "Shuggie Bain". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 November 2023 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=41296, accessed 28 May 2024.]

41296 Shuggie Bain 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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