AN AUTHOR who studied textiles in the Borders has won the top literary prize in the English-speaking world.

Douglas Stuart was announced as the winner of the Booker prize last week for his debut novel Shuggie Bain, based on his impoverished childhood in Glasgow where he was raised by an alcoholic mother.

Stuart works as a fashion designer in New York, but says he will now become a full-time writer.

Earlier this year, Stuart was interviewed by the Border Telegraph before his appearance in the online edition of the Borders Book Festival.

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In that interview, he revealed he has fond memories of his student days in Galashiels, where he was enrolled in Heriot-Watt University’s School of Textiles and Design.

Describing his four years in Galashiels as “amazing”, he said: “When I was thinking about the college I wanted to go to I chose Galashiels because I wanted to be in the world of women.

“It was an incredibly comforting, peaceful, loving, supportive place to be.

“I was the only boy in my year, out of 30 students, and there was no boy in the year above me and no boy in the year below me, so I was literally just this man in a world of women.

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“It was incredible for me because after all the disruption in my early childhood it was such a nurturing place to be.”

In winning the Booker prize, Stuart’s novel triumphed over 161 others.

The chair of judges, Margaret Busby, said the decision was unanimous and she called the book “challenging, intimate and gripping”.

“Anyone who reads it will never feel the same,” she added.

The prize included an award of £50,000.