Sally Rooney

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Sally Rooney
Born (1991-02-20) 20 February 1991 (age 28)
Castlebar, County Mayo, 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. It was followed by Normal People in 2018.

Education and personal life[edit]

Rooney was born in Castlebar[1] in 1991, and grew up there.[2] Her father worked for Telecom Éireann, and her mother ran an arts center. Rooney 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 started (but did not complete) a master's degree in politics there, but completed a degree in American literature instead.[2]

Rooney was the top speaker at the European University Debating Championships in 2013.[3] Before becoming a writer, she worked for a restaurant in an administrative role.[3] She lives in Dublin.[2]


Conversations with Friends[edit]

Rooney completed her first novel—which she has described as "absolute trash"—at the age of 15.[2] She 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 three months.[2]

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

Normal People[edit]

Rooney's second novel, Normal People, was published in September 2018, also by Faber & Faber.[6] The novel grew out of Rooney's exploration into the history between the two main characters of her short story "At the Clinic."[7] In July 2018, Normal People was longlisted for that year's Man Booker Prize.[8] On 27 November 2018, the work won "Irish Novel of the Year" at the Irish Book Awards[9] and was named Waterstones' Book of the Year for 2018.[10] In January 2019, it won the Costa Book Award for the Novel category.[11] It was longlisted for the 2019 Dylan Thomas Prize[12] and the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction.[13]

The novel is being made into a 12-part series as a co-production of BBC3 and the online platform Hulu, with filming taking place in Dublin and County Sligo.[14] The series is being directed by Irish director Lenny Abrahamson.

Other work[edit]

In March 2017, her short story "Mr Salary" was nominated for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award.[15]

On 23 April 2019, the New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers announced its 2019 class of fellows, which included Rooney. The press release stated "she will be writing a new novel under the working title Beautiful World, Where Are You, examining aesthetics and political crisis."[16]

Her work has been marketed as "Salinger for the Snapchat generation".[17]



  • Rooney, Sally (2017). Conversations with Friends. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 9780571333127.
  • —— (2018). Normal People. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 9780571334643.

Short fiction[edit]

  • —— (2017). "Robbie Brady’s astonishing late goal takes its place in our personal histories". Published on New Statesman website on 12 August 2017.[21]
  • —— (2019). "Mr Salary". London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 9780571351954.[22] (First published in Granta 135: New Irish Writing Fiction on 19 April 2016.)[23]




Critical studies and reviews[edit]



  1. ^ Claire Armitstead (2 December 2018). "Sally Rooney: 'I don't respond to authority very well'". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 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. ^ "Sally Rooney's second novel, Normal People, due in September". Irish Times. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Sally Rooney on sex, power and the art of being normal". Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  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. ^ "Love story named book of the year". 29 November 2018 – via
  11. ^ Singh, Anita (7 January 2019). "Youngest ever Costa Book Prize winner: Sally Rooney claims victory following Booker 'snub'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  12. ^ Flood, Alison (31 January 2019). "Dylan Thomas prize: teacher and nurse among 'starburst' of young talent". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Announcing the Women's Prize 2019 Longlist". Women's Prize for Fiction. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Normal People". Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  15. ^ Natasha Onwuemezi (20 March 2017). "Sunday Times Short Story Award shortlists Lambert and Rooney". The Bookseller. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  16. ^ "The New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers Announces 2019-2020 Fellows". The New York Public Library. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Sally Rooney Gets in Your Head".
  18. ^ "Winter Pages: a treasure trove of soul fuel with deep roots in Irish soil". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  19. ^ "Concord 34". The Dublin Review. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Issue No. 18". The White Review. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  21. ^ ""Robbie Brady's astonishing late goal takes its place in our personal histories": A new short story by Sally Rooney". New Statesman. 12 August 2017. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  22. ^ "Faber tells the story of 90 years of publishing". Faber & Faber Blog. 5 September 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  23. ^ Rooney, Sally (19 April 2016). "Mr Salary". Granta Magazine. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  24. ^ Rooney, Sally (11 March 2019). ""Color and Light"" – via
  25. ^ "Have I Been Severe?". 1 February 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  26. ^ "Even If You Beat Me". 2015-Spring. Retrieved 2019-05-29. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  27. ^ Online version is titled "Sally Rooney gets in your head".

External links[edit]