Us against the world

Douglas Stuart and Mattis Øybø

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Douglas Stuart and Mattis Øybø

Douglas Stuart entered the literary world with a bang in 2020. His debut novel about Shuggie Bain and his mother Agnes, about alcoholism, Thatcherism and the bond between mother and son drew rave reviews from critics across the world, and earned him the prestigious Booker Prize.

Now, Stuart is back with the novel Young Mungo, set in a similar landscape: A poor neighbourhood in Glasgow in the 90s, and the main character has two older siblings and a mother who is fond of the drink. This time, the main character is called Mungo, he is 15 and trying to figure out why he’s not like the others.

In Young Mungo, we find the same rich language and tenderness for all characters as in Stuart’s first novel. He is not afraid to show us the darkest and most painful aspects of life. This time, he brings us along on an ill-fated fishing trip, during which two blokes will make a man out of Mungo, to the fights between Protestants and Catholics, and to the working class children’s long and slow struggle to get away to somewhere better.

But more than that, Stuart gives us a raw and beautiful love story between Mungo and the neighbour boy James, who find each other despite sectarian divisions and the local community’s rigid views of masculinity and sexuality.

When Douglas Stuart now finally visits Norway and the House of Literature, he will be joined by writer and editor Mattis Øybø for a conversation about working class life, tender teenage years, and a great love.

Litteraturhuset Wergeland Forfattersamtale

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