Books I’m Excited About: ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’

Events Coordinator Uriel is kicking off Books I’m Excited About today, a series of weekly blog posts dedicated to spotlighting a novel or two that he can’t wait to read/get into your hands. His inaugural post shines a light on a novelist you’ve definitely heard of…


There’s no skirting around the fact that I am a huge Sally Rooney stan—you might’ve seen me peddling Normal People incessantly around on the sales floor in early 2019 to the delight/chagrin of many, depending on who you ask. I became too emotionally invested in this story of on-again off-again secret high school sweethearts and haven’t been the same since (read my sappy blurb of it here). So you can probably imagine the kind of fits of excitement I had when I heard the news of a new Rooney novel publishing later this year. Beautiful World, Where Are You will arrive on September 7th, 2021, and after the blockbuster Normal People—not to mention the subsequent Hulu limited series that had viewers feelin’ steamy—enraptured savvy literary folk and casual readers alike, new Rooney is tantamount to the biggest literary news you can expect this year.

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Here’s the early low-down from FSG:

Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend, Eileen, is getting over a break-up and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young—but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

Does this sound like Normal People 2: The Next Generation or what? If this new novel is anything like Normal People, as wise, direct, frustrating, then this one is sure to be a good time, and by that I mean, a sad time.

You can pre-order Beautiful World, Where Are You from BookPeople today and then sit in an anxious bubble of dread as you wait.


You can follow the #BooksImExcitedAbout tag on this blog to find more posts like this. And be sure to explore BookPeople’s “Books We’re Anticipating” lists for more of the titles booksellers can’t wait to get their hands on.

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