BOOKER-longlisted novelist Douglas Stuart has spoken about the time he was brutally attacked in Pollok when he was 15. In conversation with The Herald Magazine about his hugely acclaimed debut novel Shuggie Bain, Stuart said he had suffered almost daily bullying growing up in Glasgow in the 1980s because he was gay. The abuse culminated with an attack in the street.

“I was set upon by a gang in the middle of the day because they had seen the look of me coming down the road,” Stuart said. “People sense when somebody is gay or queer. It doesn’t have to be expressed, especially in such hyper-masculine communities. They’re always on the outlook for it and quite literally they tried to stamp it out.

“I wrote about it in the New Yorker as a fiction, but it was true. They lined up like it was a fairground ride, all to have a shot at jumping on me.”

Stuart, 44, currently lives in New York and has had a successful career in the fashion industry. Shuggie Bain tells the story of a young gay boy in Glasgow with a mother who has a problem with alcohol. It has already been described as a “masterpiece” by the Washington Post. In tomorrow’s Herald Magazine he talks about the novel and growing up in Glasgow.