Eimear McBride is the name on the entire literary worlds tongue due to scooping the Baileys Prize last night (as well as the casual £30,000 award money).
Undoubtedly the underdog in this years shortlisted novels, gained widespread acclaim for its controversially experimental writing style.
We grabbed five minutes with the award-winning author to chat about last nights success
ELLE: Congratulations! How does it feel to have won?
EM: Fantastic it was a big surprise. No one expected me to win and I certainly didnt expect to win.
ELLE: After 9 years of trying to get the novel published, this must feel like a longtime coming
EM: Yes, a very long time coming Im still very surprised its here!
ELLE: When creating the novel was the writing style non-negotiable, and did you ever want to forfeit this aspect (especially with the struggle to get the novel published)?
EM: No, to me the style and story was so intrinsic that I couldnt imagine one working without the other. So in a way, this was more frustrating and difficult - because while publishers admired it, they wouldnt take a chance on it, and there wasnt much I could do about it without going against the whole point of the exercise.
ELLE: In your acceptance speech you commented how being a woman is to be fearless too. Would you be able to talk a little more about this?
EM: Unfortunately, I think being a woman requires a huge amount of fearlessness. There is a huge pressure that must be contended with, and theres a huge hatred of women.
ELLE: Would you say this ties in with the novel?
EM: In the novel, those pressures come from the Catholic Church. While the role of the church has been diminished hugely in Ireland nowadays, in some ways, I think a lot of the media has decided that legally while theyre not allowed to discriminate against women, theyre going to make womens lives extremely difficult. Theres constant criticism of their appearance, of their work, of their interests. And also there's this culture of trying to shame women out of being angry about the way they are treated.
ELLE: Whats next for you? Is there another novel in the works?
EM: Well theres been another novel in the works for about 5 years and I had really planned to be finished this year, but everything thats happened with Girl has taken over - so its slightly postponed until next year. Its going to be called The Lesser Bohemians.
ELLE: Will it be in the same sort of writing style?
EM: Yeah I think its not entirely divorced - its like an evolution of that style.
Read an extract of A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing here