The dazzling, fearless debut novel that 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 listeners 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.
"For all its experiments with form, the events of A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing are easy for readers to follow - McBride's great skill is in communicating a clear story through a complicated use of language.... A remarkable book.... Her language is artfully deranged to make familiar experiences strange and new but in that derangement there is vitality, even joy. The desolation of the tale is held in a gripping tension with the richness of the telling...McBride is pushing further even than Beckett did into what he called 'the syntax of weakness.' Her very words have holes in them." (The New York Review of Books)
"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." (Chicago Tribune)
"Shattering.... Be prepared to be blown away by this raw, visceral, brutally intense neomodernist first novel.... (NPR)
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- Adam M. Miles
Tough, disturbing but a future classic?