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Eimear McBride wins Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction for debut novel

By Kyle Johnson,

Eimear McBride won the 2014 Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction for her debut novel A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, which took her nearly 10 years to get published.

The Irish author's experimental stream-of consciousness book was hailed by the judges as "amazing and ambitious," reports BBC News and chairwoman Helen Fraser called McBride "an extraordinary new voice." McBridge accepted her $50,200 cash prize on Wednesday.

She said of the prize, "I hope that it will serve as an incentive to publishers everywhere to take a look at difficult books and to think again." After nearly a decade of rejection, Galley Beggar Press agreed to publish the novel.

According to The Guardian, McBride's selection came as a bit of a surprise as many tabbed Donna Tartt's 771-page novel The Goldfinch as the likely winner.

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing nearly didn't get published until McBride's husband happened to talk with a Norwich book shop owner. Galley Beggar eventually picked up the novel as one of the first from the new independent publisher.

The dark family story about a young girl and her brother who has a brain tumor, also has won the new Goldsmiths prize for "boldly original fiction" and the Irish Novel of the Year.

 

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