Review: A Girl is a Half-formed Thing: A voice like no other, by Caitríona Marron

InterviewsThis week, we’re taking a well-deserved break away from creative pieces (although we love getting your submissions) and returning to another aspect of the Words, Pauses, Noises blog; the book review. Sam Jordison from Galley Beggar Press began his classes at Kingston University back in May and has inspired the choice for this week’s post, having published it with much critical acclaim. In our class with Sam, he discussed the voice, story, themes and motifs, which Caitríona Marron attempts to emulate in this review of A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride. 

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is terrifying to look at, at first. Prose and dialogue are spun into chaotic, interrupted lines, the distorted point of view not retaining much clarity as the story continues. It eggs the average, commercial reader to take one look and snap the book shut. But this is what sets it apart from its contemporaries (scoring the Bailey’s Women’s prize for fiction). The beauty of this piece lies in the frantic and seemingly un-filtered reels of free consciousness that drive the reader to peel through each page, faithfully stumbling across each word at first. A disclaimer should promise the reader to hold tight until eyes become used to the pandemonium on the page after a chapter or so. Continue reading

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Creative Work: ‘When You Wish Upon an Air Hole’ by Caitriona Marron

Creative WorksIn Keeping with our trend of flash fiction, this week’s addition comes from our very own Caitriona Marron.  Caitriona’s writing works well because it doesn’t betray the charm we often find in work ‘scribbled down at a bus stop,’ in a burst of inspiration.  We so often lose this vibe after several rounds of editing and can easily forget why we set out to write in the first place. Despite the brevity of a typical piece of flash fiction, Caitriona does an excellent job at building a world we find oddly familiar but have never lived in, ourselves. 

When You Wish Upon an Air Hole

“Johnson… Johnson! Can you hear me Johnson?” Silence answers back as I scan the buildings around me. There’s the usual upheaval, everybody getting back after a tough day’s slog and no sign of my son. The skies are bright, giant shadows looming in the distance. There’s still time.

Normally, we arrive home together everyday from there. Sometimes, I’m dropped off at the other side of the block, or he’d be found wandering the far corner of our segment. I could locate him quickly, not many folks have a seven year old with jagged blue hair. Today is different. It’s taking longer which is never a good sign. That means he might not be coming back tonight.

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