Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People has topped the bestseller lists in both Ireland and the UK more than two years after it was published, thanks to the acclaimed television adaptation starring Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones as Connell and Marianne.
Rooney's story of two young people coming of age, which was named Irish novel of the year at the 2018 Irish Book Awards, knocked David Walliams's bestselling children's book Slime off the top spot in the UK this week, according to Nielsen BookScan. It was the Irish author's first overall UK No 1.
Normal People reached the top of the paperback-fiction chart a week earlier in Ireland, selling 3,318 in the seven days ending May 2nd and 4,073 in its second week in the top spot, for the seven days ending May 9th.
Rooney’s first novel, Conversations with Friends, is also back in the bestseller lists, selling 732 copies in Ireland in the week ending May 2nd and 1,044 copies in the week ending May 9th; it has also reached No 22 in the UK paperback-fiction chart.
The closure of bookshops around Britain meant Nielsen was unable to release UK figures, but Waterstones said sales of Normal People had "rocketed" there since the TV version began. "It is our bestseller by a considerable margin, with Rooney's debut, Conversations with Friends, in second place," said Waterstones' Bea Carvalho. "We're thrilled that as a result of the adaptation so many more readers will be introduced to Sally's writing. They are in for an absolute treat." – Guardian, agencies