Some very exciting news has just come over the wire from Literary Adaptation Land (itself not so much a physical place as a daydreamy state of mind for authors the world over): Douglas Stuart’s 2020 Booker Prize-winning novel Shuggie Bain is going to be adapted for television.
Shuggie Bain has truly been the Cinderella story of the book world this year. Stuart’s semi-autobiographical debut, more than a decade in the writing, was rejected by over 30 publishers before being picked up by editor Peter Blackstock and Grove Atlantic. Since then, aside from making Stuart only the second Scottish author to win the Booker in the prize’s history, Shuggie has become a National Book Award and Kirkus Prize finalist, an international bestseller, and a critical darling.
“I am thrilled to be partnering with A24 and Scott Rudin Productions in bringing Shuggie Bain to the screen,” said Stuart of the announcement. “I often thought of the book in cinematic terms, and the glamourous, calamitous Agnes Bain certainly believes herself to be the star of her own movie. This is a chance to show the city of Glasgow with all her tenacity and unsinkable spirit, and to celebrate the love and hope between Shuggie and Agnes.”
EGOT-winning Hollywood producer Scott Rudin is (in)famous for his volcanic temper and his abiding love of literature (having once worked for, and been fired by, Rudin, I can confirm both of these things), so the book is in good (if terrifying…) hands.
In what is always a welcome addendum to these sorts of announcements, Stuart is set to adapt the novel himself.
Let the dream-casting of Agnes begin!