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A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing
by Eimear McBride


Overview - Winner, Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, 2014
Winner, Desmond Elliott Prize, 2014
Winner, Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, 2014
Winner, Goldsmiths Prize, 2013
Finalist for the Folio Prize
Shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize

NPR's Best Books of 2014
The New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of 2014
#3 on Time Out New York's 10 best books of 2014
Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal's Best Books of 2014
Boston Globe Best Fiction of 2014
Chicago Tribune Printers Row Journal Best Books of 2014
Star Tribune Best Fiction of 2014
Electric Literature 25 Best Novels of 2014
Largehearted Boy Favorite Novels of 2014

"Eimear McBride is a writer of remarkable power and originality."-- The Times Literary Supplement

"An instant classic."-- The Guardian

"It's hard to imagine another narrative that would justify this way of telling, but perhaps McBride can build another style from scratch for another style of story.  Read more...


 
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More About A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride
 
 
 
Overview
Winner, Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, 2014
Winner, Desmond Elliott Prize, 2014
Winner, Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, 2014
Winner, Goldsmiths Prize, 2013
Finalist for the Folio Prize
Shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize

NPR's Best Books of 2014
The New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of 2014
#3 on Time Out New York's 10 best books of 2014
Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal's Best Books of 2014
Boston Globe Best Fiction of 2014
Chicago Tribune Printers Row Journal Best Books of 2014
Star Tribune Best Fiction of 2014
Electric Literature 25 Best Novels of 2014
Largehearted Boy Favorite Novels of 2014

"Eimear McBride is a writer of remarkable power and originality."--The Times Literary Supplement

"An instant classic."--The Guardian

"It's hard to imagine another narrative that would justify this way of telling, but perhaps McBride can build another style from scratch for another style of story. That's a project for another day, when this little book is famous."--London Review of Books

"In edgy, hazy, stream-of-consciousness prose, Eimear McBride transports you directly into her narrator's mind and heart, making this experimental, award-winning novel totally unforgettable."--Bustle

"A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is simply a brilliant book--entirely emotionally raw and at the same time technically astounding. Her prose is as haunting and moving as music, and the love story at the heart of the novel--between a sister and brother--as true and wrenching as any in literature. This is a book about everything: family, faith, sex, home, transcendence, violence, and love. I can't recommend it highly enough."--Elizabeth McCracken

"McBride's A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is a game-changer, a disruptor, a grenade of a novel, and we all agreed this had to win."--Isabel Berwick

"My discovery of the year was Eimear McBride's debut novel A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing."--Eleanor Catton

Eimear McBride's acclaimed debut tells the story of a young woman's relationship with her brother, and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumor, touching on everything from family violence to sexuality and the personal struggle to remain intact in times of intense trauma.

Eimear McBride was born in 1976 and grew up in Ireland. At twenty-seven she wrote A Girl is a Half-formed Thing and spent the next nine years trying to have it published.

"Perhaps no debut has been more thrilling than Eimear McBride's Girl is a Half-formed Thing."-- SF Weekly

"Undoubtedly my standout read of the year, A Girl is A Half-formed Thing is an exciting and innovative debut."-- Glasgow Review of Books

"Irish author Eimear McBride earned hosannas for her first novel with the very evocative 'A Girl is a Half Formed Thing'."-- Indian Express

" McBride] reframes our expectations of prose and clarifies an urgent reality: we are all half-formed, to some degree." --The Colorado Review

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781566893688
  • ISBN-10: 1566893682
  • Publisher: Coffee House Press
  • Publish Date: September 2014
  • Page Count: 227
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women
Books > Fiction > Coming of Age

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-06-23
  • Reviewer: Staff

Growing up in a poor backwater town in Ireland, the narrator of McBride’s powerful debut novel, dark horse winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize, was closely attached to her older brother, both of them in league against their volatile mother. Shortly before the narrator’s birth, however, an invasive tumor had been removed from her brother’s brain, causing him to be developmentally “slow” and leaving him with a livid scar on his head and a prominent limp. The prose is permeated with imagery that convey the squalid conditions of their existence. Their father has flown, and their mother alternates between obsessive prayer and screaming rants threatening hell for impiety. The narration is written in a Joycean stream of consciousness with an Irish lilt, and sentence fragments transmit the pervasive sense of urgency, of thoughts spinning faster than the tongue can speak. When she is 13, the narrator is raped by her uncle, and the relationship continues after the narrator leaves home for college in the city. By this point she recognizes the dark streak in her nature that treats sex as punishment. She welcomes her uncle’s continuing predation, which fuels her promiscuity. Her voice reaches to an anguished pitch when her brother’s tumor returns; she feels guilt at having left him to cope with her mother’s religious mania. Some readers may be turned off at this point, depressed by the deathbed vigil or the narrator’s inevitable breakdown, but those who persevere will have read an unforgettable novel. (Sept.)

 
BAM Customer Reviews