Winner, Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, 2014
Winner, Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, 2014
Winner, Desmond Elliott Prize, 2014
Winner, Goldsmiths Prize, 2013
This incredible debut novel tells, with astonishing insight and in brutal detail, the story of a young woman's relationship with her brother, and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour. Not so much a stream of consciousness, as an unconscious railing against a life that makes little sense, and a shocking and intimate insight into the thoughts, feelings and chaotic sexuality of a vulnerable and isolated protagonist.
To read A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing is to plunge inside its narrator's head, experiencing her world first-hand. This isn't always comfortable - but it is always a revelation.
Touching on everything from family violence to sexuality and the personal struggle to remain intact in times of intense trauma, McBride writes with singular intensity, acute sensitivity and mordant wit. A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing is moving, funny - and alarming. It is a book you will never forget.
Eimear McBride was born in Liverpool but moved to Ireland when she was three. She grew up in Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo and Castlebar, Co. Mayo, before moving to London aged 17 to study at The Drama Centre. A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing is her first novel.
Ten pages in and all the bells start ringing. It explodes into your chest.' Caitlin Moran
'Eimear McBride is that old fashioned thing, a genius.' Anne Enright, Guardian
'Unforgettable...Eimear McBride is a writer of remarkable power and originality.' Times Literary Supplement
'My discovery of the year was Eimear McBride's debut novel...in style very similar to Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, but the broken ellipses never feel like a gimmick or a game.' Booker Prizer winner Eleanor Catton, Guardian
'Eimear McBride's ferociously intense and stylistically challenging account of a young girl's coming-of-age in rural Ireland is an astonishing literary debut...A remarkable achievement.' Irish Independent
'My book of the year, hands down, no questions asked and I will shout it from the rooftops, is the extraordinary A Girl Is A Half Formed Thing...Like nothing else - Brava! Eimear McBride!' Kirsty Gunn, Herald Scotland
'Remarkable, harshly satisfying first novel.'London Review of Books
'This is the work of a writer with the courage to reinvent the sentence as she pleases, and the virtuosity required to pull it off.' Simon Hammond, Literary Review
'A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing is a familiar Irish tale told in transfigured Irish style, a lyrical prose-poem on horror and human endurance that is - astonishingly - neither horrific nor hard to read.' Monthly
'This powerfully intense depiction of troubled girlhood is written with uncompromising brio and fidelity. After her long wait for a publisher, McBride deserves her critical success.' Weekend Australian
'A bravura performance.' Jennifer Byrne, Australian Women's Weekly
'McBride's prose might be idiosyncratic and the narrative emotionally challenging, but this is an accomplished novel. I knocked it back in two sittings and a week later I'm still reeling.' Listener