Sally Rooney

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Sally Rooney
Born (1991-02-20) 20 February 1991 (age 27)
Dublin, Ireland
ResidenceDublin, Ireland
EducationTrinity College Dublin
Notable worksConversations with Friends (2017)
Normal People (2018)
Notable awards2017 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year

Sally Rooney (born 20 February 1991) is an Irish author. Her debut novel Conversations with Friends was published in 2017 and her second novel Normal People followed a year later.

Early and personal life[edit]

Rooney was born in Dublin,[1] in 1991 and grew up in Castlebar.[2] Her father worked for Telecom Éireann, while her mother ran an arts centre; she also has an older brother and a younger sister.[2] Rooney studied English at Trinity College, Dublin, where she was elected a scholar in 2011. She later started but did not complete a master's degree in politics at the same university, instead completing a degree in American literature. [2] She was the top speaker at the European University Debating Championships in 2013.[3] Before becoming a writer, she worked in administration for a restaurant.[3]

As of May 2017, she lives in Dublin.[2]


Rooney completed her first novel, which she described as "absolute trash", at the age of 15.[2]

Rooney began writing "constantly" in late 2014.[2] She completed her debut novel, Conversations with Friends, whilst still studying for her master's degree in American literature.[2] She wrote 100,000 words of the book in 3 months.[2]

After signing with literary agent Tracy Bohan of The Wylie Agency, Conversations with Friends was subject to a seven-party auction for the publishing rights.[2] Rights for the book were eventually sold in 12 countries.[3] Conversations with Friends was published in June 2017 by Faber & Faber.[2] It was nominated for the 2018 Swansea University International Dylan Thomas Prize,[4] and the 2018 Folio Prize.[5]

In March 2017 her short story "Mr Salary" was nominated for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award.[6]

Her second novel, Normal People, was published in September 2018, also by Faber & Faber.[7] In July 2018 it was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize of that year.[8] On 27 November 2018 it won "Irish Novel of the Year" at the Irish Book Awards.[9] Normal People won the Costa Book Award in January 2019.[10]


Rooney's writing has been compared to that of J. D. Salinger by her editor at Faber & Faber, who described her as "Salinger for the Snapchat generation".[2]



  • 2017 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year.[4]
  • 2018 Waterstones' Book of the Year for Normal People[1]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Paula Cocozza (24 May 2017). "'I have an aversion to failure': Sally Rooney feels the buzz of her debut novel". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Meet the new faces of fiction for 2017". The Observer. 22 January 2017. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b Francesca Pymm (29 March 2018). "Conversations with Authors: Sally Rooney talks to The Bookseller". The Bookseller. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Announcing: the Rathbones Folio Prize 2018 Shortlist" (PDF). Folio Prize. 27 March 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  6. ^ Natasha Onwuemezi (20 March 2017). "Sunday Times Short Story Award shortlists Lambert and Rooney". The Bookseller. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Sally Rooney's second novel, Normal People, due in September". Irish Times. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Man Booker prize 2018 longlist – in pictures". The Guardian. 23 July 2018. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Success for Lynn Ruane, Sally Rooney and Aislings everywhere at Irish Book Awards". 27 November 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  10. ^ Singh, Anita (7 January 2019). "Youngest ever Costa Book Prize winner: Sally Rooney claims victory following Booker 'snub'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 January 2019.