Sally Rooney knows the world needs another brooding millennial romance. The Irish novelist's long-awaited follow-up to 2018's Normal People and 2017's Conversations With Friends will be released in 2021, publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux announced on Tuesday. Titled Beautiful World, Where Are You, the book follows four Dublin friends straddling the line between adolescence and adulthood. Naturally, romantic entanglements and existential political commentary will ensue.
This is the first of two novels Rooney is set to publish with FSG and will be released on Sep. 7, 2021—just in time for cuffing season. A synopsis of the novel via the publisher reads:
Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend, Eileen, is getting over a break-up and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young—but life is catching up with them. 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? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?
Beautiful World, Where Are You seems to tread similar waters as Rooney's first pair of novels, both of which explored complicated relationship dynamics in Ireland. Booker Prize-nominated Normal People was adapted into a Hulu limited series starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal, and Rooney was a co-writer and executive producer. Her debut novel, Conversations with Friends is also being turned into a series by BBC and Hulu with the same creative team.
"Beautiful World, Where Are You is extraordinary for its compassion, humor, and lyrical delight," said Mitzi Angel, Publisher of FSG in a statement, via EW. "It's extraordinary for the vitality of its characters and for the way it pushes so many contemporary buttons with deadeye accuracy and feeling. Sally Rooney asks questions about things we hold dear: money, love, beauty, truth, success, God, the internet, art, and goodness itself. She shows us how precarious things are and how precious life is."
Come this fall, expect every cool person you know to be toting Rooney's latest around à la Shiv Roy in Succession.
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