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Rooney keeps the surprises coming as the youth goes ‘trad’

Christine Emba


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Author Sally Rooney. Photo: David Conachy.

Author Sally Rooney. Photo: David Conachy.

Author Sally Rooney. Photo: David Conachy.

There may yet be hope. That’s one – perhaps surprising – message to take from Sally Rooney’s latest book, which appeared instantly atop the best-seller lists when published this month. Rooney gained fame as the voice of a profoundly stressed-out generation – one wrestling with depression, drift and despair. She has been described as “the first great millennial novelist”.

Her books pioneer what might be called the not-quite-marriage plot: disaffected young people with poor communication skills have sex, find themselves hurt and eventually, sort of, work it out. But her new book, Beautiful World, Where Are You, takes a subtly different turn, one that tracks a similar evolution in her generation’s mind-set.


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