Glasgow now has two Booker Prize winners to its name. No mean feat.

Douglas Stuart’s success this week with his novel, Shuggie Bain, set in the city of his childhood follows from James Kelman, in 1994, with How Late It Was , How Late.

Stuart, from Sighthill and Kelman, from Govan and then Drumchapel, mean these areas can, rightly, be associated with literary success stories.

Douglas Stuart has said he will use some of the £50,000 prize money to return to the boyhood city he left in the 1990s to study in London, then to New York, to pursue a career in fashion.

When he returns he will find much has changed and yet much remains the same.

He will not recognise the Sighthill he was born into in the 1970s.

Gone are the daunting slab tower blocks, a grey presence that loomed menacingly over the north east of Glasgow.

In their place are hundreds of new homes and a massive building site, the biggest regeneration project in Scotland.

He will see many physical changes in surrounding areas as well with new homes and new schools replacing what he saw through his young eyes and then put to print in his book.

What he will also see however, is that the themes in his book that affected his young life and the lives of too many other people in similar circumstances are still stubbornly present.

Douglas Stuart’s childhood in Glasgow is not unique and many will recognise his story.

And three decades later the issues that he and his family had to contend with are still affecting people today.

When Douglas Stuart comes back to Glasgow, he will see that alcoholism is still a problem but he will also see the underlying problems that lead many people down that dark road.

Many people in Douglas’ position in the 1980s dealing with a parent’s addiction to alcohol and the other problems that brings then went on to have their own struggles and for many it can be attributed to their childhood experiences.

So many people at that time became addicted to drugs, often heroin and are still living with addiction today.

Douglas Stuart will see a city yet to come to terms with its drug problem.

A city failing to fully see addiction as the health problem it clearly is, criminalizing people who instead need help and treatment.

He will see the issues of poverty and inter-generational poverty, that for many began in the 1970s and 1980s, refusing to budge.

He will also see that the alcohol issues, often related to deprivation and poverty, increased since the time he was writing about.

In Glasgow between 1995 and 2005 there was a big spike in alcohol related deaths.

Research from the Glasgow Centre for Population Health shows that for at least ten years before 1995 the Glasgow rate of deaths put down to excessive alcohol was around 25 per 100,000 people.

Between the mid 1900s and mid 2000s it increased year on year to almost reach 60 per 100,000 people.

In the Springburn area, the rise was even greater. It rose from 60 per 100,000 to above 80.

Only Calton in the east end showed a higher rate.

There has been a decrease since, in the following decades, but it hasn’t brought it below the already high levels before the shocking rise.

The researchers said then “The spike in alcohol-related deaths in the 1990s resulted in a significant increase in inequalities which has not been reduced by the recent falls in alcohol-related deaths.

“Analysis of alcohol-related deaths by birth cohort identified worrying disproportionate increase in alcohol-related deaths in young working-age females in Glasgow and other UK cities.”

When Douglas Stuart returns he will also see however, enormous efforts within these communities from individuals and organisations trying to not only mitigate the problems of poverty but trying to see a way out of them.

He will see community food initiatives, support groups for people with addictions and for their families and people trying to break the cycle of poverty, alcohol and drug addiction and crime.

Winning the Booker Prize is a phenomenal achievement for an author and is is particularly noteworthy that Douglas Stuart won the prize for his first book.

The Booker Prize is more than another book award. It is the most prestigious in these islands and its reach extends far beyond.

It is about more than praise for a well-crafted story. It brings the themes in the book to the attention of many people with a new perspective.

Shuggie Bain, even before it won the Booker, was receiving praise from many in literary circles and from avid readers for its portrayal of struggles that tear so many families apart

His book may be found in the fiction sections of bookshops but, being based on real life experiences, it is more than fiction.

It is a piece of social history depicting a time and place in a city that in the decades since has come so far, yet for too many has moved forward so little.