Click cover to read a sample

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

Eimear McBride

“This is a proper tingles-up-the-spine, call all your friends shouting “A new writer has arrived, and she’s it – she’s got the thing, the very thing we’re all waiting for.” An astonishing debut novel of risk, energy and creative dazzle – half-sound, half-colour, A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing puts you in the head of a clever, troubled Irish girl and her rapidly collapsing life, and leaves you there weeks after you’ve finished it. The kind of book that makes you proselytise to friends, strangers and random cold-callers to the house.”
Caitlin Moran, Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014 Judge

Eimear McBride’s debut tells the story of a young woman’s relationship with her brother and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour. It is not so much a stream of consciousness as an unconsciousness railing against a life that makes little sense, forming a shocking and intimate insight into the thoughts, feelings and chaotic sexuality of a young and isolated protagonist. To read A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is to plunge inside into the narrator’s head, experiencing her world first-hand. This isn’t always comfortable – but it is always a revelation.

"There are a lot of lazy, powerful men out there who don't like to be made to think about how people who are different to them experience the world and then choose to express that difference."
A Q&A with Eimear McBride

Explore the other winners

Shortlist announced - 21 Apr

Stay in the loop

Enter your email to be the first to know the latest news from the Women's Prize For Fiction

VOTE

Vote for your favourite #WomensPrize winner

Cast your vote for your favourite #ReadingWomen book and decide who will be our Winner of Winners in our 25th year.

Favourite book Live

  • A Spell of Winter
    5% 110 / 2.1k
  • Fugitive Pieces
    2% 44 / 2.1k
  • Larry's Party
    1% 30 / 2.1k
  • A Crime in the Neighborhood
    0% 15 / 2.1k
  • When I Lived in Modern Times
    0% 16 / 2.1k
  • The Idea of Perfection
    0% 11 / 2.1k
  • Bel Canto
    4% 90 / 2.1k
  • Property
    0% 9 / 2.1k
  • Small Island
    8% 190 / 2.1k
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin
    8% 178 / 2.1k
  • On Beauty
    3% 68 / 2.1k
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
    20% 440 / 2.1k
  • The Road Home
    2% 54 / 2.1k
  • Home
    2% 50 / 2.1k
  • The Lacuna
    2% 59 / 2.1k
  • The Tiger's Wife
    1% 30 / 2.1k
  • The Song of Achilles
    11% 242 / 2.1k
  • May We Be Forgiven
    1% 26 / 2.1k
  • A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
    2% 57 / 2.1k
  • How to be Both
    4% 93 / 2.1k
  • The Glorious Heresies
    2% 55 / 2.1k
  • The Power
    4% 106 / 2.1k
  • Home Fire
    6% 130 / 2.1k
  • An American Marriage
    4% 100 / 2.1k
Win a set of our 2020 shortlist!

Sign up for the Women's Prize for Fiction newsletter and win a stack of this year's six shortlisted books.

(We will send you occasional emails full of author interviews, extracts and audio, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Please read our privacy policy for more information).