Conversations with Friends

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Conversations with Friends
Conversations with Friends (Rooney novel).png
First edition cover
AuthorSally Rooney
Audio read byAoife McMahon
CountryIreland
LanguageEnglish
PublisherFaber & Faber
Publication date
25 May 2017
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
Pages336
ISBN978-0-571-33312-7
OCLC1031891111
823/.92
LC ClassPR6118.O59 C66 2017

Conversations with Friends is the 2017 debut novel by the Irish author Sally Rooney. The novel was published by Faber and Faber.

Background[edit]

The book was completed whilst Rooney was still studying to write and complete her master's degree in American literature.[1] The book was subject to a seven-party auction for the publishing rights.[1] Rights were eventually sold in 12 countries.[2]

The novel was published in June 2017 by Faber and Faber.[1] It was nominated for the 2018 Dylan Thomas Prize,[3] and the 2018 Folio Prize.[4]

Plot[edit]

The book details the relationships among four people – Frances (the narrator), Bobbi (her best friend), and Melissa and Nick (a married couple).[5]

Reception[edit]

Conversations with Friends received positive reviews.[6] Overall, critics enjoyed Rooney's prose, clarity, and sharp characters. Writing for The New Yorker, Alexandra Schwartz praises Rooney, noting that, "she writes with a rare, thrilling confidence, in a lucid and exacting style uncluttered with the sort of steroidal imagery and strobe flashes of figurative language that so many dutifully literary novelists employ."[7] Schwartz continues, "one wonderful aspect of Rooney’s consistently wonderful novel is the fierce clarity with which she examines the self-delusion that so often festers alongside presumed self-knowledge."[7] The Guardian similarly praised the author, noting how, "Rooney writes so well of the condition of being a young, gifted but self-destructive woman, both the mentality and physicality of it. She is alert to the invisible bars imprisoning the apparently free."[8] Reviewing for Slate, Katy Waldman described how "Sally Rooney is a planter of small surprises, sowing them like landmines. They relate to behavior and psychology—characters zigging when you expect them to zag, from passivity to sudden aggression and back."[9] Waldman further applauds the novel, noting that "Rooney herself is acute and sensitive—she may have pinned these fragile creatures to a board, but her eye is not cruel. Bobbi, Frances, Nick, and Melissa excel at endearing banter and hesitant, vulnerable disclosure. They are all thrillingly sharp, hyperverbal."[9]

Television adaptation[edit]

After the success of the streaming adaptation of Normal People (2020), based on Rooney's second novel of the same name, Hulu/BBC Three announced their intention to develop a television adaptation of Conversations with Friends. Director Lenny Abrahamson and writer Alice Birch are attached to the project, which is set for a 2022 release date. The cast includes Alison Oliver as Frances, Sasha Lane as Bobbi, Jemima Kirke as Melissa, and Joe Alwyn as Nick.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Paula Cocozza (24 May 2017). "'I have an aversion to failure': Sally Rooney feels the buzz of her debut novel". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Meet the new faces of fiction for 2017". The Observer. 22 January 2017. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  3. ^ Francesca Pymm (29 March 2018). "Conversations with Authors: Sally Rooney talks to The Bookseller". The Bookseller. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Announcing: the Rathbones Folio Prize 2018 Shortlist" (PDF). Folio Prize. 27 March 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  5. ^ Alexandra Schwartz (31 July 2017). "A New Kind of Adultery Novel". The New Yorker. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Bookmark | Book Marks". Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  7. ^ a b Schwartz, Alexandra. "A New Kind of Adultery Novel". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  8. ^ "Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney review – young, gifted and self-destructive". the Guardian. 2017-06-01. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  9. ^ a b Waldman, Katy (2017-08-03). "Tell Me I'm Interesting". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  10. ^ "Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends Is Coming to Hulu—Here's What to Know". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved February 22, 2021.