Publisher: Galley Beggar Press
Length: 203 Pages
About: Young girl's coming of age
Style: 1st Person (stream of consciousness)
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
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.