Was it just me or was there only one book that everyone read last year? Irish author Sally Rooney’s Normal People, with its minimalist red cover and countless recommendations from Instagram influencers, quickly became the book of 2019. Released in 2018, it was only Rooney’s second novel but managed to shoot her name into the literary stratosphere, collecting the Man Booker Prize in 2018 and Book of the Year at the 2019 British Book Awards.
If you haven’t read it, let me spoil it for you. No, just kidding – you should really read it to know what the fuss is all about. Normal People follows Irish teenagers Marianne and Connell as they flit through each other's lives over the course of a decade. It’s a love story if you hadn’t guessed, and quite an intoxicating one at that. But the charm of the book lies in how Rooney explores adulthood and loneliness and all the complexities that come with intimacy.
It was only a matter of time before someone picked up the rights to turn Normal People into a television show. Hulu has jumped on it, and thankfully us Aussies won’t have to resort to illegal measures to watch it when it debuts later this month.
Streaming platform Stan will be exclusively premiering all episodes on April 27. The show stars relative newcomers Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne and Paul Mescal as Connell, with Rooney adapting her own novel for TV alongside writers Alice Birch and Mark O’Rowe.