NORMAL PEOPLE by Sally Rooney
About Normal People
Longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
Winner of Novel of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards
Winner of the Costa Novel Award
Longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize
Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction
Longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize
Longlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award
“[Rooney] has been hailed as the first great millennial novelist for her stories of love and late capitalism . . . [she writes] some of the best dialogue I’ve read.”—The New Yorker
From celebrated author Sally Rooney, “the literary phenomenon of the decade” (The Guardian): a universal story of love, friendship, and growing up
At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school football team, while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal.
A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.
Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the complex entanglements of family and friendship.
Praise for Normal People
“[Rooney] has been hailed as the first great millennial novelist for her stories of love and late capitalism . . . One of the unusual pleasures of Rooney’s novels is watching young women engage in a casual intellectual hooliganism, demolishing every mediocrity that crosses their paths, just for the fun of it . . . in the process creating some of the best dialogue I’ve read.” —The New Yorker
“I’m transfixed by the way Rooney works, and I’m hardly the only one . . . like any confident couturier, she’s slicing the free flow of words into the perfect shape . . . She writes about tricky commonplace things (text messages, sex) with a familiarity no one else has.” —The Paris Review
“I went into a tunnel with this book and didn’t want to come out. Absolutely engrossing and surprisingly heart-breaking with more depth, subtlety, and insight than any one novel deserves. Young love is a subject of much scorn, but Rooney understands the cataclysmic effects our youth has on the people we become. She has restored not only love’s dignity, but also its significance.” —Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter
“Sally Rooney’s Normal People is the deeply felt story of a foundational relationship at the margin of friendship and true love, of shame and devotion. This inventive and profound novel proves what great fiction can do–it can open a world at the seams.” —Emma Straub, author of Modern Lovers and The Vacationers
“It is time to take a sharp inhale, people. After the success of Conversations With Friends, Sally Rooney has produced a second novel, Normal People which will be just as successful as it deserves to be: it is superb . . . [T]he truth is that this novel is about human connection and I found it difficult to disconnect. It is a long time since I cared so much about two characters on a page.” —Anne Enright, The Irish Times
“Rooney homes in on what she’s best at – describing people, with all their conceits and self-delusions, weaknesses and virtues. She does this with unsparing acuity and extraordinary sensitivity . . . There’s arch humor in her insights too.” —The Times (UK)
About Sally Rooney
Sally Rooney was born in the west of Ireland in 1991. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta and The London Review of Books. Winner of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award in 2017, she is the author of Conversations with Friends and the editor of the Irish literary journal The Stinging Fly.Read an Excerpt