Sally rooney

A gentle soap opera with nudity and book chat: Conversations with Friends reviewed

It’s official: television has a new genre. Its features include leisurely half-hour episodes, plenty of literary chat, several scenes set in libraries, not much humour and lots of close-ups of the thoughtful faces of clever young Irish women. It would also have presented a serious dilemma for teenage boys growing up before the internet, in that there’s not a great deal of exciting incident but there is a reliably high quotient of sex. The genre in question is, of course, the Sally Rooney adaptation – which, having laid the groundwork in 2020 with Normal People, has now cemented its new-genre status with Conversations with Friends. Sure enough, the first episode

The art of the love triangle: from Conversations with Friends to Closer

The BBC3/Hulu 12-part adaptation of Sally Rooney’s debut novel Conversations with Friends (2018) comes hot on the heels of the success of Normal People (2020) – the author’s second work (2018). Normal People surprised some with its graphic but sensitive depiction of sex but won over even older viewers (well my mum liked it) due to the finely drawn characters and convincing acting by the two leads, relative newcomers Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal. Indeed, for Edgar-Jones, Normal People has provided a calling card with producers, leading to her being cast in comedy-thriller Fresh (2022, Disney+),  true crime drama Under the Banner of Heaven (2022, FX) and upcoming adaptation of Where

Sally Rooney on steroids

To lessen the side effects of chemotherapy I am prescribed a corticosteroid. I take a whopping dose around the treatment dates and a maintenance dose the rest of the time. The physical side effects of prednisolone are sweating, insomnia, a gargantuan appetite and a moon face. The mental effects are similar to those of decent coke: an afflatus of delightedness and collected wits spoiled by an indiscriminating faith in the truth of my own thoughts, and an overwhelming and grandiose desire to express these marvellous thoughts verbally to other people. Grandiosity in an invalid is not a good look. But people excuse it. Acquaintances who I haven’t seen for a

Young female Irish writers are setting a new trend in fiction

Publishers everywhere are looking for the new Sally Rooney, which is odd since as far as I know the old one is still around. As a result Ireland, which has never lacked literary talent, is giving us a lot of debut novels by young female writers this year. True, being the new Sally Rooney makes a change from being the new Irish Chekhov, but it is a high-risk strategy when many are called but few are chosen. Here are two of the most prominent debuts, with more, including Elaine Feeney’s much-vaunted As You Were, due in the coming months. Naoise Dolan is the most Rooneyed of them all by people

Superbly convincing: Unorthodox reviewed

When I lived briefly in Stamford Hill I was mesmerised by the huge fur hats (shtreimel) worn by the local Hasidic Jews, and the wigs worn by their wives, and the almost tubercular pallor of their children. I often wondered how such a remote, aloof and archaic sect could possibly relate to 21st-century London. The answer, of course, was that they didn’t: they were like ghosts from another age, walking the same streets but not of this world. I wished I could get a glimpse of their private lives — and now, thanks to Unorthodox (Netflix), we all can. Loosely based on a memoir by Deborah Feldman, it tells the