Monday 18 November 2019

Sally Rooney takes top award with Normal People

Sally Rooney
Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney has claimed top prize at the British Book Awards for her novel Normal People.

The Irish author has been praised for her "profoundly moving" work - which follows the romance of Irish students - and it has been named Book of the Year.

Normal People fended off competition from the likes of former US first lady Michelle Obama and Booker Prize-winner Anna Burns.

Obama's book, Becoming, claimed honours for best memoir, non-fiction and audiobook.

Ms Rooney has been hailed for her approachable style and delicate handling of romance in the modern world, also seen in her debut, Conversations With Friends. Judges have tipped her as destined for literary importance, and a "generational talent".

Ms Rooney (28) said of her win: "It's an enormous privilege and an honour for me to receive the overall Book of the Year Award at the British Book Awards.


"I want to say thank you, specifically, because I feel I had an extraordinarily lucky experience with this book. I've received such enormous support and generosity from my own publisher, Faber & Faber, and also from the book-selling community generally, from libraries and librarians, and the community of people who love books.

"It has been a really privileged experience for me, and I do feel astonishingly lucky."

Alice O'Keeffe, books editor of award organiser The Bookseller, said: "It really is an exceptional novel."

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