A sharply intelligent novel about friendship, lust, jealousy, and the unexpected complications of adulthood in the 21st century
Frances is a cool-headed and darkly observant young woman, vaguely pursuing a career in writing while studying in Dublin. Her best friend and comrade-in-arms is the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi. At a local poetry performance one night, Frances and Bobbi catch the eye of Melissa, a well-known photographer, and as the girls are then gradually drawn into Melissa's world, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman's sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband, Nick. However amusing and ironic Frances and Nick’s flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy, and Frances’s friendship with Bobbi begins to fracture. As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally, terribly, with Bobbi.
Desperate to reconcile her inner life to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances's intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment. Written with gem-like precision and marked by a sly sense of humor, Conversations with Friends is wonderfully alive to the pleasures and dangers of youth, and the messy edges of female friendship.
Art © Alex Katz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY www.vagarights.com
Irish born, new author, Sally Rooney, had her debut novel published in 2017, entitled Conversations with Friends. The debut novel was followed by Normal People, in 2018, and adapted into a TV series in 2020.
Rooney grew up in Castleberry, County Mayo, where her father was an employee of Telecom Eireann, and her mother was administrator of an art center. Rooney was elected a scholar at Trinity College Dublin, in 2011. She studied politics there, and completed a degree in American literature instead. She graduated with an M.A. in 2013. She is a self-described Marxist. Debating was her strong suit, as she became the top debater at the European University Debating Champions. She currently lives in Dublin.