A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing – wins in Listowel for debutant Author

Debut author, Eimear McBride won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award for her entry, A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing.
Debut author, Eimear McBride won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award for her entry, A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing.

Debut author Eimear McBride has won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award for her novel, A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing. The prize was announced as Listowel Writers’ Week opened for the 43rd time last night.
The coveted €15,000 award is the largest monetary prize for a novel available solely to Irish authors. Joining Eimear on the shortlist were Deirdre Madden, Colum McCann, Frank McGuinness and Donal Ryan.
This first novel from McBride has taken the literary world by storm, winning the Goldsmiths Prize for Fiction and being short-listed for the Bailey Prize.  It tells the story of young woman’s relationship with her brother and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour.
Speaking about the 2014 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award, Frank Hayes, Director of Corporate Affairs, commented, “Our Award which celebrates excellence in Irish fiction writing grows in stature each year. This year’s shortlist included the work of five exceptional Irish writers, each of whom has showcased the breadth of talent Ireland has to offer and will inevitably continue to contribute to Irish literature on the world scene. Congratulations to our Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year winner, Eimear McBride for her outstanding novel, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing”
This year’s Festival opening ceremony, officiated by one of Ireland’s foremost poets, Paul Durcan, featured a slew of literary prizes, including the inaugural Pigott Poetry Prize awarded to Matthew Sweeney and the John B Keane Lifetime Achievement Award in association with Mercier Press, which was presented to playwright Bernard Farrell. Over 39 prizes were awarded on the night, from our most eminent novelists and poets, to youngsters taking their first steps on their creative journey.
Listowel Writers’ Week continues until Sunday, featuring a wealth of talent from around the globe and Ireland, with appearances from Tishani Doshi, Gerbrand Bakker, Joseph O’Connor, Mary Lawson, Aminatta Forna, Jim Crace, Dinaw Menguestu and many more.
One of the many events taking place this year will be “War Stories” which will feature BBC reporter and war correspondent Fergal Keane, former army officer, Tom Clonan and BBC Broadcaster Andy Kershaw.  They will discuss the roles played by war correspondents based on their own experience of working in war zones.
The festival will of course remember Seamus Heaney in their own inimitable way in collaboration with Poetry Ireland. Students from the 2013 Poetry Aloud competition will pay tribute to the poet by reading his work.
The National Children’s Literary Festival runs in conjunction with the main festival and features school tours, authors in schools programme, workshops, shows, walks and so much more.
Listowel Writers’ Week also features theatre, music, cinema, art exhibitions, literary bus and walking tours plus a teen focused Arts Festival Operation Education.
Listowel Writers’ Week runs until Sunday 1st June and full details and tickets are available on www.writers
Eimear McBride is the winner of the 2014 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award for A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing.
Eimear was born in Liverpool but was raised in Tubercurry, Co Sligo.  She wrote this novel in six months but it took nine years to get it published.  She lives in Norwich with her husband and daughter.
Established in 1995 and sponsored by Kerry Group, the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year is an annual award for Irish authors of fiction. Previous winners of the award include Gavin Corbett, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Neil Jordan, John Banville, Joseph O’Neill, Roddy Doyle, Sebastian Barry and John McGahern.