Normale mensen van Sally Rooney is afgelopen maandag Book of the Year bij de British Book Awards. In eerste instantie worden er winnaars in diverse categorieën gekozen en daarna de winnaar van alle categorieën. Ze versloeg onder andere de memoires van Michelle Obama en het kookboek BOSH!. De prijs wordt uitgereikt onder hoede van het blad The Bookseller, een soort Boekblad, maar dan anders.

Rooney’s tale of two college friends growing up in Dublin was called “beautifully observed and profoundly moving” by Alice O’Keeffe, books editor of The Bookseller, who revealed it was “unanimously praised” by the judges. “It really is an exceptional novel from one of the most exciting young writers we have,” O’Keeffe said. Fellow judge Brett Woolstencroft, manager at Daunt Books, described Normal People as “that rare thing, a sublime work of literary fiction which appeals to all because it exquisitely renders a universal experience – being young, finding love, friendship and ultimately a sense of self. Add a wonderful cover and well-judged promotion, and you have a phenomenon.” Waterstones fiction buyer Bea Carvalho, another judge, called it “fiction at its brightest and most relatable: clever yet unpretentious, literary yet highly approachable…that rare gift of a novel which can be enjoyed by readers of all tastes.”

Sally Rooney was niet aanwezig bij de uitreiking, maar sprak de zaal wel in een vooraf opgenomen filmpje toe.