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Author Spotlight: Sally Rooney

Sep 29, 2021 | Author Spotlight

As we approach the end of September, we hope those of you lucky enough to bag one of our Sally Rooney boxes have had the chance to read and enjoy Beautiful World, Where Are You. At just 30 years of age Sally Rooney has already made, and continues to make, a sizable cultural impact. The success of her first two novels Conversations with Friends and Normal People has coined terms such as “millennial fiction” and “the voice of a generation”. Here are 10 facts to help you get to know this important literary figure a little better.

  1. She was born in Castlebar, Ireland in 1991.
  2. While Normal People and the accompanying TV series is what catapulted Rooney to fame, her debut work was Conversations with Friends. Much like Beautiful World, Where Are You, Conversations with Friends follows a group of people whose lives are interconnected and explores the complexities of their relationships.
  3. She is the author of a short story called Mr Salary. At just 26 pages long, it’s a great entry point into Rooney’s body of work and will introduce you to some of the themes she explores in her novels.
  4. She is a self-declared Marxist. 
  5. Despite her notable commercial success, she remains a fairly private person with a relatively small online presence. 
  6. She recently signed a two-book deal, the first book of which is Beautiful World, Where Are You so we can expect at least one more book from her. Hoorah!
  7. She writes for the screen as well as the page. She wrote and was Executive Producer for the TV adaptation of Normal People and is set to be an Executive Producer for the upcoming TV adaptation of Conversations with Friends.
  8. She was a competitive debater and was, at one time, the best in Europe. She wrote about this experience in her essay ‘Even If You Beat Me’. 
  9. It was this essay ‘Even If You Beat Me’ which brought her to the attention of a literary agent who, seeing her potential as a writer, asked if she had anything else she could send her to read. Rooney sent the draft of Conversations with Friends and the rest, as they say, is history. 
  10. The commercial success of her work shows no signs of slowing. Beautiful World, Where Are You just days after publication is already the UK’s best-selling hardback of 2021 so far and is Waterstones’ best-selling fiction book of the year.

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