Slum Boy

Juano Diaz


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Octopus Publishing Group
29 February 2024
ISBN: 9781914240829
288 pages

From the publisher

‘This is a heart-breaking story, beautifully told. I hope it finds a million readers’ – Andrew O’Hagan

‘What a brave and powerful story. If you like Shuggie Bain and Damian Barr then Slumboy is for you’ – Lemn Sissay

‘Compulsively readable, it’s Dickensian in its rich cast of Glaswegian characters’ – Patrick Gale

John MacDonald must find his mother.

Born into the slums of Glasgow in the late ’70s, a 4-year-old John’s life is filled with the debris of alcoholism and poverty. Soon after witnessing a drowning, his mother’s addictions take over their lives, leaving him starving in their flat, awaiting her return.

A concerned neighbor reports her, and he is forcibly taken away from his mother and placed into the care system. There, he dreams of being reunited with her. His mind is consumed with images and memories he can’t process or understand, which his eventual adoptive parents silence out of fear as he grows into a young man within a strict Catholic and Romany Gypsy community.

This memoir is about how John found his way to his true identity, Juano Diaz, and how, against all odds, his unstoppable love for his mother sets him free.