Friday 28 October 2016

Irish Writer Beats Jhumpa Lahiri to Win Top UK Prize

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First-time Irish novelist Eimear McBride beat five other authors including Pulitzer Prize winning Indian American writer Jhumpa Lahiri to win this year's Baileys Prize, the UK's only annual book award for fiction written by a woman.

McBride's debut A Girl is a Half-formed Thing tells the story of a young woman's relationship with her brother and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour.

Helen Fraser, chair of judges, said of McBride's novel, "An 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."

Lahiri was shortlisted for her novel The Lowland. The other four shortlisted books were Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria), Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Australia), The Undertaking by Audrey Magee (Ireland) and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (the US).

The awards ceremony took place here yesterday. Hosted by best-selling novelist and co-founder of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Kate Mosse, 2014 chair of judges Fraser presented Eimear with the 30,000 pounds prize and the 'Bessie', a limited edition bronze figurine, both of which are anonymously endowed.

The award, earlier known as the Orange Prize, was set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote international fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible. Any woman writing in English - whatever her nationality, country of residence, age or subject matter - is eligible.

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