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Normal People author Sally Rooney describes fame as ‘hell’ and criticizes those who seek it

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Sally Rooney described those who seek fame as ” psychologically ill.” Pic credit: PBS News Hour/YouTube

Author Sally Rooney is known for writing addictive novels that dive deep into tales of love, heartbreak, and betrayal. She doesn’t shy her characters away from their most undesirable traits. Instead, she uses them to create realistic and engaging storylines.

The Irish author quickly became a household name following the release of her novel Normal People. The book, which debuted in 2018, instantly gained a tight-knit following. Rooney opted to make unique stylistic choices on the pages, leaving it void of any quotation marks. That year, Normal People was awarded recognition from the British bookstore Waterstones as being Book of the Year.

Soon after, Normal People was adapted into a television series starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal. The limited series premiered on BBC and Hulu during the coronavirus pandemic, in April 2020. It has since been given a Rotten Tomatoes high-approval rate of 91%.

Normal People aside, Rooney’s other novels include her debut novel Conversations With Friends and her upcoming novel Beautiful World, Where Are You which is slated to drop in 2021. The young author has been keeping busy executive producing the forthcoming adaptation of Conversations With Friends and finetuning her latest novel. However, that doesn’t mean that she has been able to shy away from her rapid fame. In an interview with The Guardian, Rooney had some choice words about her newfound attention.

Rooney describes fame as ‘hell’

In an exclusive interview with The Guardian, Rooney spoke about her experience with fame, which the outlet describes as “unwelcomed.”

Describing how fame and social media is encroaching on privacy, the author said, “Why should someone have to disclose facts about their upbringing and family life to the public, just because they’ve written a novel? Shouldn’t they be allowed to maintain a dignified silence about their personal life?”

She further states that previous generations, including “her parents,” didn’t plan out their lives as if it would, one day, be scrutinized online.

Rooney stated that fame has put her in the position of a person “enduring variably serious invasions of their privacy from the media, from obsessive fans, and from people motivated by obsessive hatred.”

Furthermore, Rooney had a few choice words for those who seek fame. The author called them “psychologically ill.”

The 30-year-old expressed, “people who intentionally become famous – I mean people who, after a little taste of fame, want more and more of it – are, and I honestly believe this, deeply psychologically ill.”

Author of Love in Color, Bolu Babalola, seemingly endorsed Rooney’s message. Tweeting an excerpt from the article, Babalola wrote, “I like Sally Rooney a lot.”

When does Beautiful World, Where Are You release?

Rooney’s upcoming novel Beautiful World, Where Are You is slated to release on September 7, 2021. The book follows four young adults, Eileen, Sam, Alice, and Felix, who are all trying to “find a way to believe in a beautiful world.”

The synopsis reads, “They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something?” It is currently rated at 4.17 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, not that Rooney cares — as she also confided that she doesn’t read reviews or profiles. She has her name “muted” on social media.

The book is currently available for preorder at major book retailers.

Beautiful World, Where Are You is expected to release on September 7, 2021.

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