Stuart: a life backwards
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The winner of the Guardian First Book Award that reinvented the biographic form.
Stuart: A Life Backwards expanded the possibilities of what a biography could be: the stories it could tell, and how it could tell them. It is about a remarkable friendship between a reclusive writer (‘a middle-class scum ponce, if you want to be honest about it, Alexander’), and Stuart Shorter, a thief, hostage-taker, psycho and street raconteur. Told backwards – Stuart’s idea – it starts with a deeply troubled thirty-two-year-old stepping out in front of the 11.15 train from London to King’s Lynn, and ends with a ‘happy-go-lucky little boy’ of twelve. Compelling, humane and funny, it is as extraordinary and unexpected as the life it describes.