A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Irish author Eimear McBride is one of eight books shortlisted today for the £40,000 Folio Prize.
McBride’s first novel won the £10,000 Goldsmiths Prize in November 2013. However, the author had to wait nine years before getting published. Galley Beggar Press, based in Norwich eventually signed McBride, after the book was turned down by a host of mainstream British publishing firms.
An experimental novel, with a novel approach to grammar, A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing is told by the “girl” of the title. Her family life is pretty disastrous, with a violent mother, and a father who abandons her. Meanwhile, her brother is sick and she has an uncle who makes unwelcome advances.
McBride was born in Liverpool, before her family moved to Sligo, and later Mayo. At 17, she left for London, and now lives with her husband and daughter in Norwich.
The books nominated for the Folio Prize are as follows: A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava (Maclehose Editions);Last Friends by Jane Gardam (Little, Brown); The Flame Throwers by Rachel Kushner (Harvill Secker); Red Doc by Anne Carson (Jonathan Cape); Schroder by Amity Gaige (Faber & Faber); ; Benediction by Kent Haruf (Picador); Tenth of December by George Saunders (Bloomsbury).
The prize will be awarded in London on March 10.