Eimear McBride

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McBride at the 2016 Texas Book Festival.

Eimear McBride (born 1976) is an Irish novelist whose debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, won the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize in 2013 and the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.[1][2]

Published works[edit]

McBride wrote A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing in six months, but it took nine years to get it published. Galley Beggar Press of Norwich finally picked it up in 2013.[3] The novel is written in a stream of consciousness style and tells the story of a young woman's complex relationship with her family.[4]

McBride's second novel The Lesser Bohemians was published on 1 September 2016.[5] Set in Camden Town in the 1990s, it tells the story of the turbulent relationship between an eighteen year old drama student and a thirty-eight year old actor. She discussed the book on Woman's Hour on 8 September[6] and it was reviewed on BBC Radio 4's programme Saturday Review on 17 September.[7]

She has contributed forewords to the Selected Poems of Anna Akhmatova (Folio Society), Sundog: the lyrics of Scott Walker (Faber & Faber) and Edna O'Brien's The Country Girls Trilogy (Faber/ FSG).[8][9] Her short stories have appeared in the Guardian, Prospect Magazine, The Long Gaze Back (Little Island Press), Dubliners 100 (Tramp Press), Winter Papers (Curlew Editions) and on BBC Radio 4.[10][11][12]

Awards and honours[edit]

Other work[edit]

In 2017 McBride was awarded the inaugural Creative Fellowship of the Beckett Research Centre, University of Reading.[23][24]

Personal life[edit]

McBride was born in Liverpool in 1976 to Irish parents, both of whom were nurses. The family moved back to Ireland when she was three.[25][26] She spent her childhood in Tubbercurry, Sligo, and Mayo. She recalled writing from the age of 7 or 8.[27] At the age of 17, McBride moved to London to begin her studies at The Drama Centre, but realised after graduating that she had no interest in becoming an actress.

McBride has a love for Russian literature and spent four months in Saint Petersburg in 2000. On her return, she worked as an office temp and travelled.[27] She completed her first novel during this time. In 2006, she returned to Cork for a time and began work on her second novel. McBride moved to London in 2017 with her husband and daughter after spending several years living in Norwich.


  1. ^ a b "Debut novelist Eimear McBride wins £10,000 prize – London – London Evening Standard". London Evening Standard. 13 November 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  2. ^ Maughan, Philip (13 November 2013). "Goldsmiths Prize awarded to debut novelist Eimear McBride for A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing". New Statesman. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  3. ^ Sinead Gleeson, Eimear McBride: ‘I really didn’t want to write about this’, 1 October 2013, Irish Times
  4. ^ Goldsmiths Prize, About Eimear McBride, 2013
  5. ^ McBride, Eimear (1 September 2016). The Lesser Bohemians. Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0571327850.
  6. ^ Presenter: Jenni Murray, Producer: Emma Wallace (8 September 2016). "Olympic boxer Nicola Adams, Novelist Eimear McBride". Woman's Hour. 33:15 minutes in. BBC. BBC Radio 4.
  7. ^ Presenter: Tom Sutcliffe, Producer: Oliver Jones (17 September 2016). "BBC-TV Presents: ... Hunt for The Wilderpeople, Eimear McBride, Bedlam, National Treasure, Dr Faustus". Saturday Review. 12:10 minutes in. BBC. BBC Radio 4.
  8. ^ "Scott Walker edits book of lyrics - The Wire". The Wire Magazine - Adventures In Modern Music. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  9. ^ "Banned, burned and reviled: what was so radical about Edna O'Brien's The Country Girls?". www.newstatesman.com. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  10. ^ Gleeson, Sinead (2015). "A long gaze back at Norah Hoult on her 117th birthday". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  11. ^ Power, Chris (2014-06-12). "Dubliners 100: 15 New Stories Inspired by the Original – review". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  12. ^ Dillon, Brian (2017). "Winter Papers 3: a deluxe but adventurous anthology". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  13. ^ "Literary awards for tales of love and loss". The University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  14. ^ Morgan, Tom (28 September 2016). "Goldsmiths Prize 2016 shortlist - six works of fiction at its most novel". Goldsmiths, University of London. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  15. ^ Flood, Alison (28 September 2016). "Goldsmiths prize shortlists novels 'that break the mould'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  16. ^ "The 2014 Prize". The Desmond Elliott Prize. 3 July 2014. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
  17. ^ Martin Doyle (28 May 2014). "Eimear McBride wins €15,000 Kerry Group Irish novel of the year award". The Irish Times. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  18. ^ Mark Brown (7 April 2014). "Donna Tartt heads Baileys women's prize for fiction 2014 shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 April 2014.
  19. ^ Ron Charles (4 June 2014). "Debut Irish novelist wins Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction". Washington Post. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  20. ^ "The 2014 Folio Prize Shortlist is Announced". Folio Prize. 10 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  21. ^ Gaby Wood (10 February 2014). "Folio Prize 2013: The Americans are coming, but not the ones we were expecting". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  22. ^ Beth Webb (November 21, 2014). "Eimear McBride wins the 2013 Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize". The Daily Telegraph.
  23. ^ "Eimear McBride becomes University of Reading's first Beckett Creative Fellow". The Samuel Beckett Society. 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  24. ^ Adams, Luke (1 November 2017). "Popular author becomes first Beckett fellow". Reading Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  25. ^ BBC, Debut novelist Eimear McBride wins first Goldsmiths prize, 14 November 2013
  26. ^ Collard, David (17 June 2013). "Eimear McBride: Gob impressive | TLS". The Times Literary Supplement. News UK. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  27. ^ a b Collard, David (2014). "Interview with Eimear McBride". The White Review. Retrieved 2018-01-26.

External links[edit]