Eimear McBride Takes on Fellowship at Samuel Beckett Research Centre
By Mary Gallagher, Editorial Assistant
February / March 2018
Award-winning Irish novelist Eimear McBride (right) has been named the inaugural recipient of the University of Reading Samuel Beckett Research Center Creative Fellowship, which provides exclusive access to Beckett’s archives.
McBride, whose debut novel A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing won the Goldsmiths Prize in 2013 and the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, will research at the center through the early summer, ultimately producing a work influenced by and honoring the works of Beckett. McBride also plans to document her personal experiences at the institute in a monthly record. In her first entry, she writes, “The remit is entirely open, which sounds wonderful and is… [Beckett’s life and body of work] have influenced, and generated, such vast arrays of artistic, academic, and critical response… So, the question is: where to begin?”
Since 1971, the research center has held the largest public collection of archives of Samuel Beckett, including the author’s notebooks and first drafts. “This fellowship will ensure that the Beckett Archive, already a collection that inspires so much wonder and interest among writers and the public, becomes also a practical and inspiring creative workshop,” the center’s director, Stephen Matthews, says. ♦