Third Place Books is thrilled to welcome Douglas Stuart—author of the international sensation Shuggie Bain—for a discussion of his new novel, Young Mungo, a gripping and revealing story about the bounds of masculinity, the divisions of sectarianism, the violence faced by many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much. Stuart will be joined in conversation by journalist Nicole Brodeur. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance.
Copies of Young Mungo and Shuggie Bain will be available for purchase at the venue. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!
for this in-person event
The brilliant new novel from the Booker Prize-winning author of Shuggie Bain
Douglas Stuart’s first novel Shuggie Bain, winner of the 2020 Booker Prize, is one of the most successful literary debuts of the century so far. Published or forthcoming in forty territories, it has sold more than one million copies worldwide. Now Stuart returns with Young Mungo, his extraordinary second novel. Both a page-turner and literary tour de force, it is a vivid portrayal of working-class life and a deeply moving and highly suspenseful story of the dangerous first love of two young men.
Growing up in a housing estate in Glasgow, Mungo and James are born under different stars—Mungo a Protestant and James a Catholic—and they should be sworn enemies if they’re to be seen as men at all. Yet against all odds, they become best friends as they find a sanctuary in the pigeon dovecote that James has built for his prize racing birds. As they fall in love, they dream of finding somewhere they belong, while Mungo works hard to hide his true self from all those around him, especially from his big brother Hamish, a local gang leader with a brutal reputation to uphold. And when several months later Mungo’s mother sends him on a fishing trip to a loch in Western Scotland with two strange men whose drunken banter belies murky pasts, he will need to summon all his inner strength and courage to try to get back to a place of safety, a place where he and James might still have a future.
Imbuing the everyday world of its characters with rich lyricism and giving full voice to people rarely acknowledged in the literary world, Young Mungo is a gripping and revealing story about the bounds of masculinity, the divisions of sectarianism, the violence faced by many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much.
“A searing, gorgeously written portrait of a young gay boy trying to be true to himself in a place and time that demands conformity to social and gender rules . . . Stuart’s tale could be set anywhere that poverty, socioeconomic inequality, or class struggles exist, which is nearly everywhere. But it is also about the narrowness and failure of vision in a place where individuals cannot imagine a better life, where people have never been outside their own neighborhood . . . Stuart’s prize-winning, best-selling debut, Shuggie Bain, ensures great enthusiasm for his second novel of young, dangerous love.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“Few novels are as gutsy and gut-wrenching as Young Mungo in its depiction of a teenage boy who finds love amid family dysfunction, community conflict and the truly terrible predations of adults. Vividly realised and emotionally intense, this scorching novel is an urgent addition to the new canon of unsung stories.”
—Bernardine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other
“I’m really, really stunned by it. It’s so good. I think it’s the best first book I’ve read in many years . . . It’s a heartbreaking story, and quite hard to read at times, but it’s almost like it’s uplifting on behalf of literature. And it’s written with great warmth and compassion for the characters.”
—Karl Ove Knausgaard, Guardian (on Shuggie Bain)
Douglas Stuart is a Scottish-American author. His New York Times-bestselling debut novel Shuggie Bain won the 2020 Booker Prize and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. It was the winner of two British Book Awards, including Book of the Year, and was a finalist for the National Book Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, Kirkus Prize, as well as several other literary awards. Stuart’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker and Literary Hub. (Photo credit: Sarah Blesener)
Nicole Brodeur is a former newspaper columnist who has written for The Seattle Times, The Raleigh News & Observer, the Orange County Register and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She has interviewed everyone from Courtney Love to the Dalai Lama. A native of New Jersey, she doesn’t trust anyone who doesn’t have a pile of books in their house. She is the admin for the Russell Banks fan Facebook page, and has been reading Infinite Jest for well over a year. That book should have its own support group.
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