Eimear McBride Wins the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

June 9, 2014

The 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, formerly known as the Orange Prize, was awarded to first-time novelist Eimear McBride for A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, published by Galley Beggar Press. McBride’s book chronicles a young woman’s relationship with her brother, who has a brain tumor. The five judges were impressed with the novel’s intimate narration from a chaotic and raw perspective.

Helen Fraser, chair of judges, described the book as “[a]n amazing and ambitious first novel that impressed the judges with its inventiveness and energy. This is an extraordinary new voice—this novel will move and astonish the reader.” McBride, born in 1976 in Liverpool, wrote A Girl is a Half-formed Thing when she was twenty-seven years old and spent many years trying to get it published.

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction comes with a £30,000 prize and ‘Bessie,’ a bronze figurine. The awards ceremony took place at the Royal Festival Hall and was hosted by bestselling novelist and prize co-founder Kate Mosse. This year’s judges were Mary Beard, Denise Mina, Caitlin Moran, Sophie Raworth, and Helen Fraser. Previous winners of this award include Ann Patchett, Zadie Smith, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Marilynne Robinson, and Téa Obreht. Last year the award, temporarily called the Women’s Prize for Fiction when it was in between sponsors, was won by A.M. Homes. This is the first year that the prize was awarded under Baileys sponsorship.

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