Sally Rooney’s upcoming novel Normal People is set to be adapted for television by BBC Three.
The Young Writer of the Year winner will adapt the novel for television herself and it will be produced by Element Pictures with Ireland’s Lenny Abrahamson down to direct.
Rooney’s second novel is due to be released next month following her acclaimed debut Conversations with Friends. Over several years it follows Marianne and Connell - both from a small west of Ireland town, but from very different backgrounds – as they embark on an on-off romance that starts at school and continues through college, as they test their relationship, experiment with other partners and explore different versions of themselves.
The book is full of all the awkwardness, humour and confusion that accompanies love and sex and offers the opportunity to make a television show about being young that is frank, smart and intoxicating, publisher Faber said.
Filming dates and casting for the adaptation will be revealed in due course.
Rooney said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge of working in a new form, and of thinking about these characters and their lives in new ways.”
Ed Guiney of Element Pictures, said:“Sally’s novel is a beautifully written, utterly beguiling exploration of an incredibly intense love story, the subtlety and specificity of which is breathtaking . There is no better film maker than Lenny Abrhamson to realise its potential for the screen. We are delighted to help bring this brilliant project to life.”
While Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, added: “Sally is one of the most engaging young writers of her generation and the BBC is thrilled to be working with her on her first piece for television.”
Rooney, originally from the West of Ireland but now living in Dublin, was crowned the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year in 2017 aged 26 for her debut Conversations with Friends, which has gone on to sell 53,073 print copies across all editions via Nielsen Bookscan in the UK. Last month it was revealed that her second book Normal People had won a place on the Man Booker longlist.
Faber signed Rooney for a two-book deal in September 2016 after a seven-way auction.
Last year in an interview with The Bookseller, Rooney revealed she had been writing since childhood and finished her first novel aged just 15. She grew up in a house “full of books” and always felt that her parents would be “open to me announcing that I was going to be a writer. That felt like something I was allowed to say,” she said at the time.