Eimear McBride wins Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize
A Girl is a Half-formed Thing author has already won Goldsmiths Prize, the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award, the Desmond Elliott Prize, and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014 Prize
Author Eimear McBride. Photograph: Dave Meehan
The winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize 2013 is A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride. The judges were Deirdre Madden, Patrick Neale and Gaby Wood.
Madden said: “A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is literature of the highest order and a true work of art. It displays a remarkable understanding of language and form and is technically brilliant. An important novel, which breaks new ground.”
Neale said: “A Girl is a Half-formed Thing encapsulates the reading experience. One is compelled to engage with the story. The language is new and riveting. This book demonstrates there are exceptional voices and stories out there. It has opened a new door for literature.”
Wood added: “Although the Geoffrey Faber Prize doesn’t have as its specific remit the commendation of excellent books that have somehow escaped widespread notice, we did hope to do something along those lines. So we had at first believed that Eimear McBride’s much-praised book might not qualify. But what she has done in A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is so linguistically daring, so formally skillful yet so heart-churningly strong that we thought, in the end, not to applaud it would be an act of blindness. I think all of the judges were delighted - and quite relieved - to find the others felt the same.”
McBride’s award-winning debut novel tells 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, it is a shocking and intimate insight into the thoughts, feelings and chaotic sexuality of a vulnerable and isolated protagonist. Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize, the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award, the Desmond Elliott Prize, and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014 Prize, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is an unforgettable novel from a major new literary talent.
First published by Galley Beggar Press in June 2013, Faber & Faber published a paperback edition in April 2014 in partnership with Galley Beggar.
McBride was born in 1976 and grew up in the west of Ireland. She studied acting at Drama Centre London, and wrote her first novel A Girl is a Half-formed Thing at 27, and thereafter spent the next decade trying to have it published. She lives in Norwich.