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Image / Living / Culture

Here’s your first look at Sally Rooney’s upcoming new novel


By Jennifer McShane
13th Apr 2021
Here’s your first look at Sally Rooney’s upcoming new novel

The illustrated cover for Sally Rooney’s new novel has been released, and here's everything we know about the anticipated book so far.

Normal People fans everywhere will be especially thrilled to learn of the news that the acclaimed Irish author will release her third novel, titled Beautiful World, Where Are You in September 2021.

Here’s what we know:

It seems to start on familiar territory, following four young characters in Ireland (but slightly older this time as they near their thirties). The backdrop is no longer the grounds of Trinity as they navigate the pressures of work and relationships “against the backdrop of political turmoil and fears about their economic futures.” They have more years gone by, their world is bigger now – their problems are more global and entrenched.

The details

And while the author’s third novel won’t be published until 7th September, her publisher’s Faber and Faber have released the cover for the book. The jacket is designed by Jon Gray, with illustrations from Manshen Lo, with two designs especially created for indie bookshops, Waterstones and Easons. The exclusive edition for indie bookshops features a yellow colourway. Meanwhile, the Waterstones edition is in blue and will also include an exclusive short story from Rooney and will have yellow sprayed edges.

An extract from the publisher reveals that it’s all we’ve come to love from Rooney, but no doubt she’ll surprise.

Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend, Eileen, is getting over a break-up and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young — but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

Faber acquired the novel as part of a two-book deal.

Something to look forward to as we await the TV adaptation of Conversations with Friends.