Irish author Sally Rooney named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in the world

Irish author Sally Rooney has been included in TIME magazine’s “World’s Most Influential People” list, an annual list of 100 significant figures in film, music, politics and global culture in general.

TIME released its 2022 list on Monday, with high-profile guest contributors paying tribute to the winners.

In a word

This year’s list has been split into six categories – Icons, Pioneers, Titans, Artists, Leaders and Innovators – with Rooney named in the Titans category along with the likes of Apple CEO Tim Cook, American TV host Oprah Winfrey and Squid Games creator Hwang Dong-hyuk.

Rooney’s brief profile was written by Lena Dunham, the creator and star of the hit HBO Girls show, who wrote, “Many times in a generation there is a writer who speaks such fundamental truths – in such skillful prose – that they become a signpost to all our needs and concerns, all our unanswered questions and anxious dreams.

“When she published Conversations With Friends, Sally Rooney became that person, and her second novel, Normal People, cemented her role as a minimalist examiner of modern romance. She’s the rare writer to have coveted merchandising (I’m proud bucket-hat owner Sally Rooney), her books are touted as fashionable trophies, and her work has spawned a vigorous fantasy cottage industry.”

Category winning author Sally Rooney attending the Costa Book Awards 2018, at Quaglino’s, London

Dunham continues, “But none of this should detract from his writing skills or the incisiveness of his criticism. It’s an uncomfortable thing to be anointed from generation to generation…but Rooney has proven that she was sheltered from the growing pressures.

“Her ability to swerve means she will not only be the hottest young novelist of the year, she will be a permanent fixture, not just as a hardcover in the hands of seductive youth, but as a criticism in the collective consciousness.


A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Rooney established herself as one of the world’s most celebrated millennial fiction writers with the release of her acclaimed debut novel, Conversations with Friends, in 2017.

Her second novel, Normal People, published in 2018, was a best-seller and won several major awards, including Best Novel at the Costa Book Awards, and was named Waterstones Book of the Year.

Rooney also co-wrote the TV adaptation of Normal People which aired on the BBC and RTÉ in 2020 to critical acclaim, making household names from stars Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones.

Irish writer and novelist Sally Rooney visits Gothenburg Book Fair

The 31-year-old author released her third novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You, last September to much fanfare. The book was a New York Times and IndieBound bestseller.

A TV adaptation of Conversations with Friends is currently airing on RTÉ and BBC and is produced by the same team behind Normal People.

The TIME 100 List

TIME’s annual list of the world’s most influential people includes 100 impactful artists, leaders, politicians and others from around the world.

The list is compiled by the magazine’s editors and the issue is made up of short tributes written by other global luminaries across all industries.

Other notable inclusions on this year’s list are Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, US President Joe Biden and British singer Adele.

Commenting on the 2022 TIME100 list, TIME Editor and CEO Edward Felsenthal said, “Our hope is that the TIME100 list is not just an acknowledgment of influence, but a study of how influence can be exerted… If the crisis is going to unite us, we must find this same empathy within ourselves.

“The spectrum of leaders on this list, wielding influence in so many ways, reminds us that we all have the opportunity to use our power for good.”

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