On Conversations with Friends

‘Since 2017, a single writer has significantly influenced the publishing world: Sally Rooney. Her caustic and acerbic debut, Conversations with Friends, now adapted into a television series for the BBC and Hulu, took the world by storm. It inspired many copycats, ushered in a new cultural interest in Irish fiction that focused on millennial angst and even influenced the design of nearly every book cover that came after it. When I bought my copy a year after it came out, the bookseller told me, leaning over the counter as he did, that I would love it. He didn’t know anything about me, but that seems to be the essence of Rooney’s appeal; it’s surprisingly broad. Rooney’s prose is stylised and sparse. It discusses so-called “universal” themes while remaining distinctly itself. As such, she is the kind of writer that seemingly attracts everyone, from those who read one book a year to those who always carry a paperback in their tote and have a TBR pile taller than the average human. ‘

You can read the full column here.

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