Fans of Sally Rooney, Rejoice: She’s Publishing a New Novel in 2021

updated Jan 13, 2021
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Credit: Enda Bowe

While it’s not clear when we can make actual plans again, there is one major event for bookworms to safely put in their calendars: A new Sally Rooney book is set to publish this fall, titled “Beautiful World, Where Are You.”

The book follows best friends Alice and Eileen, twentysomethings who are on “very different trajectories.” Alice is swept off her feet by Felix, who convinces her to travel to Italy; Eileen copes with a recent break-up by settling into old patterns and old flames. 

Superfans got a taste of Rooney’s new work if they were paying attention to press releases from the New York Public Library in 2019, whose fellowship announcement nodded to the novel. But otherwise, Rooney has kept quiet about her newest work.

Fans of the Hulu show or Rooney’s previous books, “Normal People” and “Conversations With Friends” may find it difficult to wait half a year for Rooney’s newest novel, so I’ve put together a few books to tide you over. Rooney’s brand is uniquely her own, but you can find some of her sharp prose, realistic romance, and thoughtful explorations of daily life in these novels while you wait: 

1 / 4
was $27.99

Dolan’s sharp writing and dry humor has reminded many readers of Sally Rooney; not to mention, Dolan is a fellow Irish novelist. Dolan has a similar talent for building highly flawed, selfish, but relatable central characters, whose romantic entanglements make for a compelling read.

2 / 4
was $26.00

Edie, a twentysomething artist, somehow finds herself unemployed and living in the guest bedroom of her lover and his wife. Leilani’s prose is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever read, expertly blending the funny and disturbing, or the painful and beautiful, as Edie seeks companionship and belonging.

3 / 4
was $14.99

A novel about a woman existing within her own boundaries, outside of the pressures of marriage or family or traditional femininity. Andrea, on the cusp of turning 40, can frustrate and liberate the reader in a single paragraph; Attenberg’s vignettes are beautifully-written windows into a “grown up” life.

4 / 4
was $14.95

What would you do to protect your family, especially when you’re not that crazy about that family to begin with? Braithwaite explores this with hilarity and intelligence, pushing the reader to imagine the most extreme strengths and darknesses that women contain.