I cannot believe almost a week has gone by since Eimear McBride was announced as the winner of the first Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014. What a night.
I think most of my friends and family would testify that I am a big fan of parties. I’m not talking ‘let’s-go-on-the-lash-and-get-horendously-wasted-and-embarrass-ourselves’ party (though it’s important to have a few of those for life experience…right?), I’m talking a well-organised, slick event, where all requirements are catered for and all expectations exceeded. Having left the Durham University environment last summer, where balls and formals were a regular part of my weekly schedule, I soon realised that publishing was the perfect industry to enter in order to continue enjoying such events. However, no book launch or reading had ever quite matched the grandeur I so enjoyed, so when I received an invite to the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction awards party, ‘excited’ simply doesn’t cover it. Continue reading Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Awards Ceremony→
As demonstrated by Franny’s beautiful and dedicated reviews on this very blog, the talent in the shortlist for the Baileys Prize this year is incredible. I have to admit I was excited enough when I saw the judging panel, but the sheer quality of the novels this year has been amazing.
What a treat then, on a Tuesday evening, to get to sit in an auditorium (reportedly with RYAN REYNOLDS – though an unconfirmed sighting) and listen to these six incredible women read a section from their respective novels. Well, actually, five incredible women, and one slightly bewildered Charles Dance, reading in place of the absent Tartt and declaring that he had ‘never felt so conspicuous’. Franny and Perks were lucky enough to nab tickets to this wonderful event and what a pleasure it was.
Despite its recent successes – winning the inaugural Goldsmiths prize, shortlisted for the Folio Prize and a current contender for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction – A Girl is a Half-formed Thing has not been universally well received. Heralded as ‘virtuosic’, ‘remarkable’ and ‘unique’ but simultaneously ‘pretentious’, ‘challenging’ and ‘incomprehensible’, I remained unsure as to what to expect from such a divisive novel.
Following the stream of consciousness of an anonymous young girl, the reader is pulled into a fractured narrative, physically distressed by its content. Driven by the familial relationship between sister and brother – the latter always referred to as ‘you’ – and the effect that his brain tumour has on her life and decisions, the story reaches out and pulls the reader into an intimate and viscerally tormented experience. Continue reading A Girl is a Half-formed Thing – Eimear McBride→