A first time novelist has won the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.
Irish author Eimear McBride won the coveted prize for her book ‘A Girl Is A Half Formed Thing‘. The author clinched the prize beating the bookies favourite Donna Tartt for her 771 page epus ‘The Goldfinch’ which has won a Pulitzer.
The winner was selected from a shortlist including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Americanah, Hannah Kent for Burial Rites, Jhumpa Lahiri for The Lowland, Audrey Magee for The Undertaking, Eimear McBride for A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing and Donna Tartt for The Goldfinch.
McBride told BBC Breakfast programme on Thursday of her joy at winning the prize after being rejected nine times by publishers because the book was too ‘experimental’.
Admitting that the novel, which chronicles the life of an Irish girl who battles with domestic violence, rape and her brother’s battle with a brain tumour was ‘a difficult read’, the 38-year-old said she hopes that her win will be a lesson to publishers to give unconventional books such as hers a chance.
‘We’re writers’, but we’re all readers first’, she says.
She also added that there should always be the emphasis on the reader first before anything else should matter.
After languishing in her drawer for years, McBride was given her break via a fortuitous conversion between her husband and a fledgling book publisher who eventually published the book in 2011 after seeing the potential.
The panel of judges consisting of Helen Fraser, columnist Caitlin Moran, Presenter and newsreader Sophie Raworth, Cambridge classics Professor and regular Question time panelist Mary Beard, and Denise Mina told of their struggle to select the winner out of the four shortlisted books, although admitting that McBride stood out from the start.
The Author will be smiling home after bagging the £30, 000 prize money that comes with the award and even though we’re gutted that our own Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie didn’t win (we’re still stupendously proud of her anyway), we’re happy for the obviously deserving winner, who once again proves again that if you keep believing in yourself, someday, the whole world will too.