The dazzling, fearless debut novel that won the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the book the New York Times hails as “a future classic”.
In scathing, furious, unforgettable prose, Eimear McBride tells the story of a young girl’s devastating adolescence as she and her brother, who suffers from a brain tumor, struggle for a semblance of normalcy in the shadow of sexual abuse, denial, and chaos at home. Plunging readers inside the psyche of a girl isolated by her own dangerously confusing sexuality, pervading guilt, and unrelenting trauma, McBride’s writing carries echoes of Joyce, O’Brien, and Woolf. A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is a revelatory work of fiction, a novel that instantly takes its place in the canon.
Award-winning author 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 just under a decade trying to have it published. The novel went on to win the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, the Desmond Elliot Prize, the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year, the Goldsmiths Prize, and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, among others. She currently lives in Norwich with her family. Her second novel is The Lesser Bohemians.
A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing 3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
This book is unique in its writing. There are no dialogs, just a continuous narrative of fragmented sentences. I did admire that the author was able to communicate so much with such unstructured text. But it was too much distraction. The text was as chaotic as the life and twisted emotions of the main character. It was simply too tragic and convoluted a story to enjoy it. I took a break from it half way in and resumed reading to finish it at any cost. But, despite the originality of the writing, I did not enjoy reading it at all. It is not a book I can recommend.
More than 1 year ago
This is a brutal, brutal book. This book follows a girl from age two though twenty - through her father's desertion, her brother's childhood cancer, her fanatical mother, and her rapist uncle. After being raped by her uncle at 13, she uses sex as a weapon against the boys who teased her brother, older men who objectified her, and eventually, herself. It's hard to read as she uses sex frequently and violently.
The genius of this novel, however, isn't the plot. It's the prose. It reads more like poetry. It's a stream of consciousness that frequently is stilted - as though the girls' language stopped developing as a child. Her childlike narrative makes her story all the more uncomfortable - and this book IS uncomfortable. It's definitely worth the read, but be forewarned. It is bleak.
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