From Booker Prize-winner Douglas Stuart, an extraordinary, page-turning second novel, a vivid portrayal of working-class life and a highly suspenseful story of the dangerous first love of two young men: Mungo and James.
Born under different stars, Protestant Mungo and Catholic James live in the hyper-masculine and violently sectarian world of Glasgow’s housing estates.
They should be sworn enemies if they’re to be seen as men at all, and yet they become best friends as they find a sanctuary in the pigeon dovecote that James has built for his prize racing birds.
As they find themselves falling in love, they dream of escaping the grey city, and Mungo works especially hard to hide his true self from all those around him, especially from his elder brother Hamish, a local gang leader with a brutal reputation to uphold.
But the threat of discovery is constant and the punishment unspeakable. When 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 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 literary fiction, Douglas Stuart’s Young Mungo is a gripping and revealing story about the bounds of masculinity, the push and pull of family, the violence faced by so many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much.
Douglas Stuart was born and raised in Glasgow. After graduating from the Royal College of Art, he moved to New York, where he began a career in fashion design. Shuggie Bain, his first novel, won the Booker Prize, the Sue Kaufman Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and ‘Debut of the Year’ and ‘Book of The Year’ at the British Book Awards.
It was also shortlisted for the US National Book Award for Fiction, the Kirkus Prize and the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. His short stories have appeared in the New Yorker and his essay on Gender, Anxiety and Class was published by Lit Hub. He lives in New York.
Image: Young Mungo – courtesy of Pan Macmillan Australia