Sally Rooney’s sister-in-law strikes a publishing deal for coming-of-age novel None of This Is Serious

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Sally Rooney’s sister-in-law has landed a high-profile publishing deal for a debut novel hailed as “highly entertaining” and “extraordinary.”

Irish writer Catherine Prasifka, 25, whose brother is married to the acclaimed author of Normal People and Conversations with Friends, will publish her debut novel on Canongate in April 2022.

The coming-of-age story, None of This Is Serious, joins an emerging genre of Irish fiction, following in the literary footsteps of bestsellers such as Rooney, Naoise Dolans Exciting Times and Snowflake by Louise Nealon.

The plot follows the relationship between two best friends, Sophie and Grace, as they finish college and struggle to navigate their friendship and love interests.

Irish writer Catherine Prasifka, 25, (pictured) whose brother is married to acclaimed Normal People author Sally Rooney, will publish her debut novel None of This Is Serious in April 2022.

The synopsis reads: ‘College is coming to an end and Sophie feels detached from her friends as they go on without her.

“She feels overshadowed by her best friend Grace, she’s been in love with Finn for as long as she’s known him, and she’s about to meet Rory – whom she likes because he’s available to her online, although she’s very little in person.” feels for him. ‘

Catherine studied English literature at Trinity College, Dublin, where, like her sister-in-law Sally Rooney, she competed in both the European Debating Championships and the World Championships.

The lead author obtained a Masters of Literature in Fantasy from the University of Glasgow before finishing her novel and signing a book deal on lockdown.

Catherine studied English literature at Trinity College, Dublin, where, like her sister-in-law, she took part in competitive debates before landing a high-profile publishing deal.  Pictured: Sally Rooney wins Costa Book of The Year Award in 2019

Catherine studied English literature at Trinity College, Dublin, where, like her sister-in-law, she took part in competitive debates before landing a high-profile publishing deal. Pictured: Sally Rooney wins Costa Book of The Year Award in 2019

Catherine, who works as a creative writing teacher in Dublin, said she wants the novel to reflect young people’s lives today, especially during the lockdown when relationships have taken place over the internet.

In a press release about the book, she said: “I started writing None of This Is Serious before the pandemic, but it came to life during those endless lockdown days.

“I wanted the book to accurately reflect what it means to be young now, in an online world where reality is both elastic and malleable, when I suddenly became a spectator of a global event that forced me to rethink everything.

‘The past year and a half have been unprecedented; I could never have predicted a global pandemic, but it seems equally unlikely that I could have ended up where I am today with such a support team at Canongate behind me and the book.”

Canongate Books described the novel as “about the uncertainty and absurdity of life today.”

‘It’s about balancing the real world with the online, and the vulnerabilities in yourself, your relationships, your body.

“Tender, funny and utterly compelling, at its core, this is a novel about female friendship and the relationships strong enough to withstand anything.”

The book has already been praised by Exciting Times bestselling author Naoise Dolan, who called it “an extraordinary novel.”

She said: “None of This Is Serious brilliantly explores the impossibility of ‘growing up’ in the end times, where screens are so contiguous to experience that no one is ever really online or offline…

Normal People follows Connell and Marianne from school to Trinity College Dublin.  Pictured: Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal in the BBC Three adaptation of the novel

Normal People follows Connell and Marianne from school to Trinity College Dublin. Pictured: Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal in the BBC Three adaptation of the novel

‘[Catherine] writes truthfully and with unfeeling nuance about the labyrinthine workings of groups of friends and the defenses women seek in a world that still hates us.’

Canongate Books CEO Jamie Byng said: ‘Catherine Prasifka’s debut novel is so damn good. For starters, it has a voice that grabs you from the opening page and pulls you closer and closer. It is also observed exceptionally well.

“And it manages to be very entertaining and then very shocking. Nothing from This Is Serious is a brilliant achievement and marks the arrival of an important new writer.”

Louise Nealon, author of the Irish bestseller Snowflake, also praised the debut novel, describing it as a “painfully accurate description” of the way we live now and saying it’s the book she’s been waiting for the “all-consuming influence’ that the Internet has on her life.

Catherine’s sister-in-law Rooney was named the voice of a generation after she became the youngest ever author to win the prestigious Costa Prize at just 27 years old for her second novel Normal People.

It was published in 2018 and was given a new lease of life last year when the BBC debuted the TV adaptation that became a moment during the lockdown hit with fans like Kourtney Kardashian and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Normal People follows Connell and Marianne from school in County Sligo to Trinity College Dublin.

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