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Title: “Sharing the Same Soil:” Sally Rooney’s Normal People and the Coming-of-Age Romance
Authors: Pierini, Francesca
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Francesca Pierini, "'Sharing the Same Soil:' Sally Rooney’s Normal People and the Coming-of-Age Romance" in: "2021 / 26 Prospero. Rivista di letterature e culture straniere", EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste, 2021, pp. 145-170
Journal: Prospero. Rivista di letterature e culture straniere 
Sally Rooney’s Normal People (2018) is a refined, touching, and quintessentially current coming- of-age narrative that explores the romantic encounter and its effects upon the psyches and aspirations of two young people, Marianne and Connell, who experience the extraordinary luck (and misfortune?) of finding one another before becoming adults. Featuring a persistent subtheme of inequality among social classes, and the effects of such disparity on the lives of young generations, the narrative weaves together ‘the personal’ and ‘the structural’ in an elegantly told portrayal of young love. The novel does not only signal a welcome return of the topic of politics to a context – the contemporary construction of love and literary representation of romantic relationships – often dominated by a logic of purely individual responsibility, but it also portrays the specific burden, most achingly felt by the young, that comes with having one’s possibilities for love (and disappointment) multiplied in the current era. By discussing the novel as a romance narrative, this essay will argue for the importance and validity of a genre and the field of expertise attached to it – scholarship of the (popular) romance – that has developed, during the last decades, and especially since the beginning of the current century, important analytical tools for reading and understanding the representation of love in literary as well as popular narratives. Despite the undeniable revitalisation generic forms of literature are currently undergoing, the romance – and its critics – tend to remain excluded from academic debates concerning such revival.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1123-2684
eISSN: 2283-6438
DOI: 10.13137/2283-6438/33293
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:2021 / 26 Prospero. Rivista di letterature e culture straniere

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