A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing

A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing

Hardback

By (author) Eimear McBride

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  • Publisher: Coffee House Press
  • Format: Hardback | 227 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 230mm x 26mm | 460g
  • Publication date: 9 September 2014
  • ISBN 10: 1566893682
  • ISBN 13: 9781566893688
  • Sales rank: 111,031

Product description

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 "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" ""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.

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Author information

Eimear McBride was born in 1976 and grew up in the west of Ireland. At twenty-seven she wrote "A Girl is a Half-formed Thing" and spent the next nine years trying to have it published. In 2013 it was the recipient of the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize. She currently lives in the UK with her husband and daughter.

Review quote

"The prize seeks to ensure that readers today will have the chance to savour the vitality and sparkle of a new generation of young writers. In recognition of Dylan Thomas's 39 years of literary productivity and creativity, the Prize is open to young writers of 39 and under." --The International Dylan Thomas Prize "It was a really astonishing book. We felt that from the first time we read it - it stood out from the crowd. . . It's incredibly original. It has a raw energy we all responded to. It has real lyrical qualities even though the subject matter can sometimes be so shocking."" --BBC" "[W]ritten 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. . . an unforgettable novel.""--Publishers Weekly, starred review" ..".powerful debut novel...Those who persevere through this challenging story will have read something unforgettable." "--Publishers Weekly, "Pick of the Week"" "a jolting, unforgettable voice . . . a novel both formally innovative and psychologically unsparing." " --Wall Street Journal" "McBride calls to mind both Joyce and Stein in her syntax and mechanics, but she brings her own emotional range to the table, as well. . . open-minded readers (specifically those not put off by the unusual language structure) will be surprised, moved and awed by this original novel. . . This is exhilarating fiction from a voice to watch.""--Kirkus, starred review" ""A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing" is indeed conventional in places, but in most respects the novel is blazingly daring. . . [McBride's] prose is a visceral throb, and the sentences run meanings together to produce a kind of compression in which words, freed from the tedious march of sequence, seem to want to merge with one another, as paint and musical notes can. The results are thrilling, and also thrillingly efficient.""--The New Yorker" ""A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing" is a gorgeously odd novel. . . McBride's style, which she has called an attempt to capture "the moment just before language becomes formatted thought," is the most remarkable aspect of the book." "--NPR" "Be prepared to be blown away by this raw, visceral, brutally intense neomodernist first novel. ...readers can't help but be pulled into the vortex of this devastating, ferociously original debut." "--NPR" "A life told from deep down inside, beautiful, harrowing, and ultimately rewarding the way only a brilliant work of literature can be." --Michael Chabon "Eimear McBride is a writer of remarkable power and originality"--David Collard, "The Times Literary Supplement" "It is, in all respects, a heresy -- which is to say, Lord above, it's a future classic."--"New York Times, " Sunday Book Review "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" "It is always a wonderful and satisfying thing to hear that an unknown debut author has won a major prize for writing. . . And when the news that the unknown writer winning the big prize is being published in the United States by Minneapolis' Coffee House Press, well, the news is all the more welcome." "--Star Tribune" "["A Girl is a Half-formed Thing"] is formally groundbreaking, and has been declared a work of "genius" by Man Booker winner Anne Enright. It came to widespread public attention last year, when it was awarded the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize, set up to reward iconoclastic fiction. Since then, the book has been shortlisted for the Folio Prize and now longlisted for the Baileys: the establishment, in other words, is remaking itself in the image of the revolutionary." "--The Telegraph" "Written in language that "pulsates and adapts, disintegrating and resolving at will," it "stands shoulder-to-shoulder with "The Catcher in the Rye," "Lolita" and "The Road" as a masterpiece that some love and some loathe, but which has a greatness that few will deny," said Cleave, chair of the Desmond Elliott judging panel.""--The Guardian" "One of the most remarkable things about [A Girl is a Half-formed Thing] is hearing the thoughts of a woman from the inside out. There are very few authentic literary examples of the inner workings of a woman's mind.""--The Independent Ireland, " "Women Are a lot Angrier and They're Not Looking for Love" "The language is expressionistic, confiding, and plays havoc with the normal rules of syntax and structure. For the reader, the impression is of a voice so close to your ear that you can almost hear the breathing." "--Irish Independent" "McBride's much praised and powerful first novel." "--BBC" "An astonishing literary debut" "--The Independent" "Eimear McBride very deliberately set out to recapture in her own writing what Joyce had done for her in his - opened up parts of life that couldn't be described in conventional language." --"The Telegraph," "Books about Ireland: holiday reading guide" "McBride was hailed as "that old-fashioned thing, a genius" by fellow Irish novelist Anne Enright." . . . This is a novel so emotionally overwhelming that it can be hard to finish a sentence, but also one in which each line repays thought and second reading." "--The Guardian" "A page-turner and a slow burn at the same time . . ." "--Vanity Fair" "What is fascinating here, and what should induct the novel into a more enduring canon of women's writing, is that McBride never self-censors when engaging with the pain, the abjection, and the desperation generated out of situations in which a woman is granted little more than her body and her words to use as weapons within imbalanced power structures." "--The Los Angeles Review of Books" "[An] audacious, brutal, bracingly jagged-edged debut.""--Boston Globe" "[I]t was heartening to observe that the most talked about book of the season, at least among the people I was around, will be published in the United States by the tiny and prescient Coffee House Press. It's called "A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing," and it's by Eimear McBride--look out for it in September." "--The New Yorker, ""Page-Turner" blog, "Poetry in Seattle: an A.W.P. Diary" "McBride's novel-about an Irish girl's coming-of-age in the shadow of her brother's off-and-on battle with brain cancer-is written in pulsing, feverish prose, prose that is chopped and diced and scrambled, devastating and erotic." "--The Riveter" "By the end of the novel, when the siblings are quite far from slug races, the narrator's question--"What if we were young, were small again?"--is liable to break your heart." "--The Riveter Magazine" "If you dial into the rhythm and hear the narrator in your head, as I did, the Irish cadence and cry of despair sounds a plaintive, soprano tone. . . That McBride could tap such a monumental well of feeling, turn it inside out, and present it for the reader's interpretation and judgment is literary miracle. Too many prize wins? I say the book hasn't won nearly enough of them."--"Maclean's" "A gut-wrenching and haunting coming-of-age tale composed in a profoundly affecting staccato style."--"San Francisco Chronicle" "This is brave, dizzying, risk-taking fiction of the highest order."--"Star Tribune" "Eimear McBride is unrelenting in her vision, and drags you into the muck and the current after her and her unnamed girl, not even asking you if you want to drown." --"The Rumpus" "Raw and real. It will break your heart time and time again before it's done with you." "--Bustle" "A Girl is A Half Formed Thing announces the arrival of an ecstatic new talent."--"The New Daily" "Eimear McBride's debut novel has a reputation that precedes it here in America. Winner of multiple awards, the US release should only confirm what we've suspected over here all along."--Jason Diamond, ?"Vol. 1 Brooklyn" September Books Preview "[A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is] a heartbreaking but stunning read, a portrait of suffering barely visible under cloudy water.""--Chicago Tribune Printers Row Journal" ""A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing" is to modern fiction what bare-knuckle fist fights are to the Marquess-of-Queensbury-ruled boxing - this is the savage and fucking hard-hitting end of the genre. . . [A]bsolutely brilliant.""--The Only Way is Reading" "I urge readers to step outside their literary boxes and experience this remarkable book.""--Shelf Unbound" "McBride has created a world, that is not just accessible but positively drags you in, surrounds and infiltrates you. Her innovative approach to language is sometimes shocking, but it's the only way that we can genuinely experience the whole of the character." --"Tales From a Bruce Eye View" "Eimear McBride's "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 "Amazing writing." "--Library Journal, ""Prepub Alert: My Fiction Picks" "I'm left with great admiration for the author's skill.""--Bluestocking Journal" "A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing does something fresh and important with these themes, thanks in part to its canny adoption of modernist form."--"breac" "[McBride's "A Girl is a Half-formed Thing"] is testament not only to her literary skill but also to the inexhaustible possibilities of the novel form itself.""--Books and Culture" "A wonderful but harrowing first person stream of consciousness. . . it truly is one of the most extraordinary things I've read in the last year." "--Harper's Bazaar" "An amazing book, unlike anything I've read before, and it announces McBride as a master at realizing perspective." --"AV Club" "At its most fundamental level this is a heartwrenching story of love, loss and an exceptionally strong sibling bond. The sadness of it was almost unbearable; it didn't remind me of grief, it felt like it. But in as far as grief can only spring from love, there is something beautiful about that, and about much of the writing." --"PaperBlog" "[A] bizarre, visceral thing that shifts and bends in your hands.""--Flavorwire," 10 New Must Reads for September "Put this one in the category of Most Memorable Books Ever.""--Bustle" "McBride has produced something unparalleled in pace and tone to the works of other Irish writers." --"The Vault" "It's hard going at first, but once you let the language wash over you and form a rhythm, the book blossoms into a gorgeous, brutal stream of word and thought."--"Flavorwire" "Playful, rich, exciting--rarely have I read a book where I felt that the medium actually is the message." --"The Star Online" "Eimear McBride's victory in the Bailey Prize with "A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing" is a heartening though rare instance of a difficult book being given a reward from mainstream publishing, not just from independent readers and reviewers." --"Quadrapheme, " "Why difficult literature is a good thing" ""A Girl is a Half-formed Thing" is a challenging, knotty read that demands your full attention, but it's hardly a chore to completely turn yourself over to it. . . the lyrical approach to narration that moves this prize-winning novel beyond simply a wonderful story to a breathtaking piece of art." --UCL Center for Publishing "Challenging novels that offer more than your standard bestseller-list low-watt escapism." --"The Star (Canada)" "McBride's experiment reaches back into the archaic and the incoherent: it is not so much an expression of genius as of ungenius, a dismantling of the scaffolding of thought, of culture and the Church, expressing instead the profundity of fragmentation and psychological disrepair.""--The Conversation" "[McBride's language] might take some getting used to, but let it flow through you--the life she's writing will feel that much rawer for it.""--GQ, ""7 Books You Need to Know in September" McBride's writing is relentless. Every line, sentence, word is a confrontation with the world. . . invigorating and uncompromising." "--Bangkok Post" "The writing is highly crafted on a micro-level. There is richness in its internal rhymes, its perfectly made-up words for those moments when language fails -- "miracly," "inthespring" . . . cycling between the throb of an open wound and a lilting ecstasy of music." --"Brown Daily Herald"