This book is a masterpiece!!!!! Where to begin?! From the very first page, the narrator captivates the reader’s attention and affections. She is incredibly passionate and strong, while perfecting a gritty, humorous commentary that was absolutely intoxicating. The story itself shared a vital perspective- specifically that of a queer, Sri Lankan woman. Her story highlighted the perilous, and at times, violent nature of performative activism without the presence of active, internalized antiracism practices. It was truly an enthralling novel. Priya Guns is an incredibly talented author and I cannot wait to read their other novel(s) and rave about them!
Your Driver Is Waiting by Priya Guns, (List Price: $26, Doubleday, 9780385549301, February 2023)
“I think when you’re talking about queerness at that time and you’re also intersecting it with class or with poverty or social mobility, then the stakes are very different for the characters. You know, they can’t just up and leave and go find a different place where they belong in the world. They really have to face the world outside their door because that’s the only world they know.” –Douglas Stuart, interview, NPR
What booksellers are saying about Young Mungo
Douglas Stuart has done it again with this heartbreaking, breathtaking, and hopeful story of young love between two boys in working-class Glasgow. I will patiently wait for Middle-Aged Mungo and Old Mungo…I want more! ―Gaël LeLamer from Books & Books in Coral Gables, FL Buy from Books and Books
From Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart, this often bleak coming-of-age story shares some of the themes of his winning novel Shuggie Bain, including the darkly lyrical descriptions of a working class childhood at the mercy of an alcoholic mother. A heart-breaking story, with vividly drawn characters, dangerous situations, and forbidden love. ―Anne Peck from Righton Books in St Simons Island, GA Buy from Righton Books
This is beautiful and hard, a gem hewn from the harshest pressure of Scottish discord and weather. Catholics vs Protestants, children vs adults, adults vs drink, all of them trying to survive under the apathetic Glaswegian skies. Young Mungo drags you down in the mire, and holds your face to the ruin of this community, but also reminds that no matter how dark, there is always love. A brutal, brutal read, but staggeringly empathetic and wonderful. Mungo is our hero, our baby we want to shield, our man we want to see grow up and conquer. He is our queer king whom we want love to keep and to make him greater. I can’t recommend this book enough, I understand know why Stuart won the Booker for Shuggie Bain. This too, deserves the praise it will get, a classic in the making. ―Aimee Keeble from Main Street Books in Davidson, NC Buy from Main Street Books
Douglas Stuart novels have a particular ache to them…you cannot help but love and be in pain for his characters. Poor, alcoholic, living in dire, drab straits, isolated in their worlds, their will to live and love takes my breath away. “Young Mungo” is a tough read, but Mungo himself will tear at your heart…along with lovely James, caring Jodie, violent Hamish and selfish Mo-maw. A sad Romeo and Juliet story for modern times. Violent, tough and absolutely beautiful. ―Andrea Ginsky from Bookstore Number 1 LLC in Sarasota, FL Buy from Bookstore 1 Sarasota
About Douglas Stuart
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.
Alex Jennings has absolutely burst onto the scene with this vibrant and completely singular work. Image and sound practically leap off of the page via Jennings’ cacophonous, but specific language. The version of New Orleans he’s created is fantastical, to be sure, but also accurately depicts the very real spirit of this complicated city. Plotting is muddled and over-complicated in parts and one can get a little lost, but it’s undeniable that a special mind produced this work. I’m excited to see what he does next.
The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings, (List Price: $28, Redhook, 9780759557192, June 2022)
A young woman who has burned out after 14 years in her chosen career takes on a series of short contract jobs through an employment agency. The jobs are somewhat unusual, but plausible… But as each contract goes on and she becomes more invested in her ‘easy’ job, the stranger each job becomes. Light surreal/confabulist touches plus the occasional meditation on work and meaning tie her various job adventures into an enjoyable read.
There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura (List Price: $18, Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635576917, 3/23/2021)