Notes On... Color and Light


It feels easier to blame my impressive content-binging on 21st century multimedia overload. It’s all Netflix’s fault that I consume a 20 part series in two weeks, okay? But the truth is I’ve never been able to make a good thing last. Just look back at my voracious Jacqueline Wilson days in the 90s to see I’ve always been like this.
Sally Rooney is the Jacqueline Wilson of my 30s. Probably not the comparison either would expect but I devour anything she writes and just can’t.get.enough. Something about Rooney’s writing is completely absorbing—she’s never guilty of flowery language or sentimentality, but every time I’m invested in characters like they’re my own friends and find myself thinking about them long after I’ve put the book down.
Last week, the 28 year old released her latest short story, Color and Light in The New Yorker, and it’s simultaneously great and terrible news for Rooney fans. The short contains all the hallmarks of her two previous novels, Normal People and Conversations with Friends; young people struggling to find their place in the world, and also struggling to work out how to communicate with their peers. There’s a roughness to the work that adds to its charm­—the piece moves with the pace of someone recounting a meeting to a friend. And the bad news? This short story fulfils the ‘short’ descriptor. I want more Rooney.

You can read Color and Light here (providing you haven't used up all your free articles this month)