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Sally Rooney’s Normal People—sharp and witty but claustrophobically self-aware

The author has a talent for zeroing in on emotional secrets

By Sian Norris   October 2018
Author Sally Rooney

Author Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney’s Man Booker long-listed novel asks: who are the normal people? Is it Marianne, the weird rich girl? Or Connell, the smart, handsome football enthusiast whose mother cleans Marianne’s house? At school in rural Ireland, Connell has the upper hand. But when the on-off couple arrive at Dublin’s Trinity College, they find the definitions of what normal is have changed. Marianne is right at home in the university’s cocoon of privilege, while working-class Connell is alienated in a world where how much your parents…

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