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A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing: A Novel
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Random House Publishing Group 2014
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Description
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.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/18/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781566893787
ASIN:
B00LKBTYC8
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Eimear McBride. (2014). A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Eimear McBride. 2014. A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Eimear McBride, A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Eimear McBride. A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2014.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 15:10:42
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: 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.
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title
A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing
fullDescription
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.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Chicago Tribune
      • content: "That this deliberately stunted narrative language retains its power past the girl's childhood and into her adult years is a testament to McBride's verbal dexterity and tight narrative focus... A heartbreaking but stunning read, a portrait of suffering barely visible under cloudy water."
      • premium: False
      • source: NPR
      • content: "Shattering...Be prepared to be blown away by this raw, visceral, brutally intense neomodernist first novel... While McBride's girl may be a half-formed thing, there's nothing half-formed about even her most fragmented sentences... Her American publisher writes, "Don't be cowed by the first few pages of this novel. Think about how glad you were that you read past the beginning of The Sound and the Fury, or A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man." The references to William Faulkner and James Joyce aren't outlandish; McBride's work also evokes Samuel Beckett and Edna O'Brien... McBride's writing is so alive with internal rhymes, snippets of overheard conversation, prayers and unfiltered emotion, and her narrator so feisty, that readers can't help but be pulled into the vortex of this devastating, ferociously original debut."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Millions
      • content: "Brilliant...bracing, unrelenting, and audacious...Yes, this book actually gave me nightmares. And yet I did not want to stop reading it...It's this thread of love that sustains the novel and keeps it from becoming an unending tale of misery. It's also what gives weight and power to the novel's most beautifully written passages...A literary sensation."
      • premium: False
      • source: Joshua Cohen, New York Times
      • content: "A future classic...[with] inevitable comparisons to the Irish tradition -- Beckett's monologues, Joyce's Molly Bloom soliloquy in Ulysses and the ontogenetic prose of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man-- and to the Irish/­British female avants: Edna O'Brien, Virginia Woolf, Ann Quin, Christine Brooke-Rose. What all that praise had in common, besides that it was deserved, was the sad sense that the English-language novel had matured from modernism, and that in maturing its spirit was lost...McBride's book was a shock to that sentiment, not least because it is about that sentiment. A Girl subjects the outer language the world expects of us to the inner syntaxes that are natural to our minds, and in doing so refuses to equate universal experience with universal expression -- a false religion that has oppressed most contemporary literature, and most contemporary souls."
      • premium: False
      • source: James Wood, New Yorker
      • content: "Blazingly daring...[McBride's] prose is a visceral throb, and the sentences run meanings together to produce a kind of compression in which words, freed from the tedious march of sequence, seem to want to merge with one another, as paint and musical notes can. The results are thrilling, and also thrillingly efficient. The language plunges us into the center of experiences that are often raw, unpleasant, frightening, but also vital."
      • premium: False
      • source: Vanity Fair
      • content: "Eimear McBride's A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is simply a brilliant book--entirely emotionally raw and at the same time technically astounding. Her prose is as haunting and moving as music, and the love story at the heart of the novel--between a sister and brother--as true and wrenching as any in literature. This is a book about everything: family, faith, sex, home, transcendence, violence, and love. I can't recommend it highly enough."--Elizabeth McCracken

        "Unrelenting in voice and impact."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from June 23, 2014
        Growing up in a poor backwater town in Ireland, the narrator of McBride’s powerful debut novel, dark horse winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize, was closely attached to her older brother, both of them in league against their volatile mother. Shortly before the narrator’s birth, however, an invasive tumor had been removed from her brother’s brain, causing him to be developmentally “slow” and leaving him with a livid scar on his head and a prominent limp. The prose is permeated with imagery that convey the squalid conditions of their existence. Their father has flown, and their mother alternates between obsessive prayer and screaming rants threatening hell for impiety. The narration is written in a Joycean stream of consciousness with an Irish lilt, and sentence fragments transmit the pervasive sense of urgency, of thoughts spinning faster than the tongue can speak. When she is 13, the narrator is raped by her uncle, and the relationship continues after the narrator leaves home for college in the city. By this point she recognizes the dark streak in her nature that treats sex as punishment. She welcomes her uncle’s continuing predation, which fuels her promiscuity. Her voice reaches to an anguished pitch when her brother’s tumor returns; she feels guilt at having left him to cope with her mother’s religious mania. Some readers may be turned off at this point, depressed by the deathbed vigil or the narrator’s inevitable breakdown, but those who persevere will have read an unforgettable novel.

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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.
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