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Eimear McBride - A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing

James Naughtie and a group of readers talk to Irish writer Eimear McBride about her novel A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, which won the Baileys Prize for Fiction in 2014.

Eimear McBride won the 2014 Baileys Prize for Fiction and the Goldsmiths Prize for her experimental novel A Girl is a Half-formed Thing.

It's the story of an Irish girlhood told by an un-named narrator, starting whilst she is still in the womb. Written in a fragmented stream of unconsciousness style the girl rails against a life that makes little sense - as well as being sexually abused by an uncle at a young age, her brother is left damaged by a dangerous childhood illness which casts a long shadow. Her half-formed life offers no simple hope of escape to something easier or more comfortable.

Eimear talks about the influence of Joyce and how contemporary Irish fiction continues to focus on elements of its society's painful past that have been previously concealed. The novel took her six months to write and although Eimear struggled to find a publisher she refused to make any concessions like changing the challenging language or turning the novel into a straight memoir.

Presenter : James Naughtie
Interviewed guest : Eimear McBride
Producer : Dymphna Flynn

March's Bookclub choice : A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale (2015).

Available now

28 minutes

Credits

Role Contributor
Producer James Naughtie
Interviewed Guest Eimear McBride
Producer Dymphna Flynn

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