Sally Rooney’s second novel, which grew out of characters in her 2016 short story 'At the Clinic', led to a slew of award nominations and the sobriquet 'the voice of her generation'.

Rooney was just 27 when Normal People sent the reputation she had won for her first book, Conversations with Friends, stratospheric. The huge success of the ensuing television series, for which she was a screenwriter, only sent it higher. Some critics questioned whether the book was in fact really a sophisticated ‘young adult’ novel, but the judges found in it a universality and quality of writing that rendered age bands redundant. Rooney has become a figure of fascination for the media, something her avowed discomfort with fame and the public eye has only intensified.

Sally Rooney

All nominated books

Normal People