Sally Rooney’s third novel, and her first since the widely acclaimed Normal People, will be published on 7 September.
Beautiful World, Where Are You, announced by Rooney’s UK publisher Faber on Tuesday, follows Alice and Eileen, two friends in their 20s who find themselves on very different trajectories. Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a distribution warehouse and asks him to go to Rome with her; Eileen, recovering from a break-up in Dublin, begins to flirt with Simon, a childhood friend.
Similar to Rooney’s previous novels Conversations With Friends and Normal People, much of Alice and Eileen’s friendship plays out over email, as they “exchange emails about art, friendship, the world around them and the complicated love affairs unfolding in their own lives”, reads Faber’s description. “They say they want to see each other again soon. But what will happen when they do?”
Alex Bowler, the publisher at Faber who acquired the novel as part of a two-book deal, called it “a book of friendship and sex, art and faith, power and love. It absorbs you once again in the inner lives of characters with brilliant minds and aching hearts, while marking the next creative leap from a singular writer. The book scintillates with intelligence, empathy and, yes, beauty.”
Kate Skipper, chief operating officer at Waterstones, said Beautiful World, Where Are You was “set to be the most eagerly anticipated book of the autumn, for readers and booksellers alike.”
“I cannot wait to read Beautiful World, Where Are You, to immerse myself in the new characters and world that Sally has created with her rare talent,” she added. “The prospect of Sally’s third novel being published later this year is a truly delicious one. What a welcome treat for 2021!”
Faber will publish the novel in hardback, along with two special editions exclusive to Waterstones and independent bookshops. It will be published in the US by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Rooney has become a literary phenomenon since the publication of her debut Conversations With Friends in 2017. Her 2018 novel Normal People was widely acclaimed and a bestseller; deemed “a future classic” by the Guardian, it was nominated for the Man Booker prize and won the Costa novel of the year award. It was adapted into a television series by BBC Three and Hulu in 2020.
New Sally Rooney novel to be published in September The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ The Guardian.