Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

2014 - Baileys - Woman's Prize for Fiction Winner

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride


Publisher: Galley Beggar Press

Length: 203 Pages

About: Young girl's coming of age

Style: 1st Person (stream of consciousness)

Where: Ireland

When: 1980/90s


Publisher’s synopsis:

Eimear McBride's debut 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.



For you. You’ll soon. You’ll give her a name. In the stitches of her skin she’ll wear your say. Mammy me? Yes you. Bounce the bed, I’d say. I’d say that’s what you did. Then you lay down. They cut you round. Wait and hour and day.





Eimear McBride is that old fashioned thing, a genius, in that she writes truth-spilling, uncompromising and brilliant prose that can be, on occasion, quite hard to read....The result is an instant classic – an account of Irish girlhood to be set alongside O'Brien's The Country Girls for emotional accuracy and verve, and the sense of its overwhelming necessity. A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing is completely modern in its sensibility and completely old-fashioned in the way it triumphantly ignores the needs of the book market.

For full review click here.

The Guardian, Anne Enright, 20th September 2013


Not so good

 There is nothing about this book that could be described as fun (although there are some funny moments) but this was a satisfying exercise which calls into question the way we generally use language and all the unexploited possibilities it holds. In a literary landscape where too much is spoon-fed and spelled out, this is a masterclass in the opposite approach. It must have been incredibly liberating to write.

For full review click here.

Isabell Costello on the Literary Sofa, 18th July 2014



About the author

McBride was born in Liverpool in 1976 to Irish parents. The family moved back to Ireland when she was three. She spent her childhood in Tubbercurry, Sligo, and Mayo. Then, at the age of 17, she moved to London to begin her studies at The Drama Centre.

McBride wrote A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing in just six months, but it took nine years to get it published. Galley Beggar Press of Norwich, which is where McBride now lives with her husband and daughter, finally picked it up in 2013.




























Page turner









Age guide: 15+




Novels by same author:

None to date




Adaptations: None to date.




































2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

Click here


Print Print | Sitemap Recommend this page Recommend this page
© Prize Winning Fiction