‘Normal People’ author boycotts Israeli publisher amid Israeli-Palestine tension

Her decision has been labelled "anti-Semitic" by one Israeli minister

Sally Rooney, the author of Normal People, has refused to have her new book translated into Hebrew in light of the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

Rooney has announced that she will boycott Israeli publishing house Modan, having refused to sell Beautiful World, Where Are You‘s translation rights to the publisher.

She did however say it would “be an honour” to have the book translated into Hebrew by a company which shared her political position, as reported by the BBC.


“The Hebrew-language translation rights to my new novel are still available, and if I can find a way to sell these rights that is compliant with the BDS movement’s institutional boycott guidelines, I will be very pleased and proud to do so,” she said.

Normal People
Paul Mescal (Connell) and Daisy Edgar Jones (Marianne) in Normal People. (Credit: Element Pictures/Enda Bowe)

However, she confirmed that she would not “accept a new contract with an Israeli company that does not publicly distance itself from apartheid and support the UN-stipulated rights of the Palestinian people.”

Rooney’s actions were branded anti-Semitic by one Israel’s Diaspora Minister Nachman Shai.

“The cultural boycott of Israel, anti-Semitism in a new guise, is a certificate of poor conduct for her and others who behave like her,” he tweeted in Hebrew.

The next small-screen adaptation of Rooney’s work Conversations With Friends, is set for release in 2022.


In a new interview with the Radio Times, director Lenny Abrahamson, who will share directing duties on the 12-episode series with His Dark Materials‘ Leanne Welham, revealed that shooting is set to begin this spring, and described the show as a “cousin” to Normal People, with crossover potential.

Asked whether Normal People‘s protagonists Connell and Marianne, played by Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones respectively, could appear in the new series, Abrahamson said: “Yes, that’s perfect! And Connell could be some moping boy in the background, licking his pencil. Now we’re talking, that’s gold!”