The Birdcage Archives

Friday 20 November 2020

The Booker Prize 2020, Winner

Hello Gentle Reader
2020 has proven itself as being one of the most memorable and misbegotten years of recent memory. With the global pandemic still raging; the ludicrous incompetency of politicians mismanaging efforts to control the diseases transmissions, or exercise any sense of public health authority; and economics increasingly on the verge of collapse; one could say with conviction that 2020 been the most disastrous year in contemporary history, with little reprieve from its continual usurping coup of daily life and its miniscule  pleasures. Even literature has become a failed refuge from the continued restraints the world is under. Mainly because in the absence of otherwise daily concerns, people are more concerned now then ever with the abject thought of survival. a degrading condition which demands that they reduce themselves to almost instinctual level of cognitive thought in order to put food on the table or keep the roof over their head. In its early stages the pandemic called for increased kindness to one another, but has proven that kindness is a finite resource, while self-interest is continual in surplus. You’d be forgiven missing the otherwise muted announcement or reactions of the recent Booker Prize Winner for 2020; as increased interest is turned elsewhere, such as the basics of living.
The Scottish born American writer, Douglas Stewart has won the Booker Prize with his debut novel: “Shuggie Bain,” an autobiographical and personal narrative of a young boy growing up in 80’s Glasgow, which has been preemptively declared: “a future classic.” “Shuggie Bain,” may be described as perhaps the perfect Booker Prize winning novel in alignment with the current events of the year. The novel details unpleasant circumstances, social settings, dissatisfaction, the state of dispossession and disenfranchisement; but its tempered with a unique social community, humour, and cautious optimism.  Being the second Scottish writer to receive the award, Douglas Stewart, showcases the unique literary sensibility of the Scottish people, their language, identity, and perspective, which is riddled with resilience when faced with despair. The Booker Prize judges praised the novel for being acutely aware of its geographical urban landscape, as well the social structure which exists within the physical space. They also praised the novels grit, challenging content, candor, as well as its humour and continued optimism.
Congratulations are certainly in order for Douglas Stewart!
Thank-you For Reading Gentle Reader
Take Care
And As Always
Stay Well Read
M. Mary

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