Wednesday 19 December 2018

Sally Rooney’s Normal People in line for sales boost as it is named Waterstones Book of the Year

Power, pain and punishment... Sally Rooney dissects a college romance in spectacular style. Photo: David Conachy
Power, pain and punishment... Sally Rooney dissects a college romance in spectacular style. Photo: David Conachy

Rachel Dugan

Irish author Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People has been named the Waterstones Book of the Year.

It is the second award this week for the 27-year-old after her book was named Novel of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards on Tuesday night.

It was revealed last week that Normal People, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, has been shortlisted for the Costa Novel award, alongside Limerick author Donal Ryan’s From A Low and Quiet Sea.

The Waterstones Book of the Year is chosen by booksellers and while there is no monetary prize attached, the winner can expect a healthy bump in sales across its 293 stores in Ireland and the UK.

Last year’s winner, Philip Pullman’s Belle Sauvage, saw an increase in sales of over 350pc across the Waterstones group, catapulting it into the Christmas number one fiction spot and making it one of 2017’s best-selling books.

Rooney, who comes from Castlebar in Co Mayo, is editor of literary magazine The Stinging Fly.

Normal People, the follow-up to her 2017 debut, Conversations With Friends, tells the story of Marianne and Connell, two Leaving Cert students in a small town in the West of Ireland. The book follows the pair’s on-again off-again relationship over four years after they are both offered places at Trinity College in Dublin.

Normal People is set to be adapted for BBC Three by Oscar-nominated Irish director Lenny Abrahamson.

Read more: 'I have no idea if I'll write another book' - 'Normal People' author Sally Rooney

Review: Sally Rooney's Normal People rejects the 'second-album' curse with all the effortless cool of one of her characters 

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