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Irish writer Sally Rooney has been awarded the Costa Novel of the Year award for her moving coming-of-age tale ‘Normal People’. The Costa Prize is one of the literary world’s most prestigious prizes and recognises some of the best books of the year written by UK and Irish authors. At only 27, Rooney has emerged as the youngest ever winner, and the prize adds to the rich critical acclaim her second novel has already received.
The awards are divided into several categories - the other winners included ‘The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’ by Stuart Turton which won the First Novel, ‘The Cut Out Girl’ by Bart van Es which won Biography, ‘The Skylarks War’ by Hilary McKay which won Best Children’s Book, and Assurances by JO Morgan which won the Best Poetry Award.
Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years.
This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person's life - a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us - blazingly - about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney's second novel breathes fiction with new life.
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