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Debut Novelist, Eimear McBride, Wins Baileys Women's Prize For Fiction

Posted at 6:02AM Thursday 05 Jun 2014

The bookies' curse continues this year as Donna Tartt falls short of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2014. Described by prize chair, Helen Fraser, as 'a book of our time', Einear McBride's 'A Girl is a Half-formed Thing' was selected as the prize winner - a choice that came as no surprise to the select audience, but nonetheless challenges the prize's criteria as 'accessible'.

A novel that has proven challenging to read and notoriously difficult to adapt to, McBride's 'A Girl is a Half-formed Thing' has finally achieved the recognition it deserves following a decade of repeated rejections from publishers.

Speaking of her achievement, McBride said she hoped her success would encourage publishers to consider challenging books - an investment which Galley Beggar Press now relishes.

Following a discussion with fellow shortlisted author, Hannah Kent, it was clear that amongst her fellows, Eimear McBride was a clear winner, yet continues to be a controversial read amongst the general public.

This book is fractured and difficult to engage with but once you adapt to the narrative style, you become absorbed in the girl's predicament and the means by which she deals with it. Once you have heard McBride read it aloud, you become a true convert.

Overall, this decision came as no surprise as this book really pushes the boundaries of fiction and, once adapted to, can profoundly affect the reader's emotions and perceptions of the world. If you have not yet read it, I truly recommend it; persist through the initial difficulty, and be treated to a novel that touches an innately human confrontation with indescribable and unimaginable issues.

Frances Teehan





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