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Eimear McBride Wins the 2014 Geoffrey Faber Prize

Eimear McBride‘s debut novel A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing has been awarded the Geoffrey Faber Prize for fiction, it was announced earlier this week. Previous winners of this prize include J.M. Coetzee, Julian Barnes, and Seamus Heaney. The prize was established to celebrate the founder of publishers Faber & Faber, and since 1964 it has alternated year by year in awarding the £1,500 prize to poets and authors under the age of 40.

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing has been shortlisted for, and awarded, an impressive array of prizes since its publication last August. It was nominated for the 2014 Dylan Thomas Prize and the 2014 Folio Prize. The novel has won the 2013 Goldsmiths Prize (this year won by Ali Smith), the 2014 Desmond Elliot Prize, the 2014 Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award, as well the 2014 Women’s Prize for Fiction (beating Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch).

Eimear McBride spent 10 years trying to get A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing published, before the independent publisher Gallery Beggar Press in Norwich picked it up. Since then it has been published in paperback with Faber & Faber, received a variety of accolades, been compared to works by James Joyce, and been adapted for the stage. The highly experimental novel is something of a coming of age story. It follows a girl dealing with abuse inflicted on her by her uncle (as well as total strangers), and coming to terms with her brother being diagnosed with brain cancer. Anne Enright in The Guardian called it “completely modern in its sensibility and completely old-fashioned in the way it triumphantly ignores the needs of the book market.”

McBride has said “I’m absolutely delighted that my book was chosen and it’s a huge, if somewhat intimidating, honour to be added to the prize’s long and illustrious back-list of recipients.”

 

C/o The Guardian

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