Emily Ratajkowski has become the latest among us to get her hands on a copy of Sally Rooney’s debut novel Conversations With Friends — slightly later than most, but the Sally Rooney Hive welcomes all. Since she finished the book, what has ensued was to be expected: stunned by Rooney’s brilliance, Ratajkowski rushed to read up on the author and her oeuvre, and then effused about it to whomever would listen.
So enthused was she that she took to both Twitter and Instagram Stories to discuss Conversations With Friends, which she says she read in one sitting. (She credits “rec queen” Lena Dunham with introducing it to her.) On Monday, presumably the day she read the entire thing, she tweeted a photo of a wry back-and-forth between the book’s two main characters, Bobbi and Frances, about female CEOs and female arms dealers, and thanked Rooney for not “confusing shitty capitalism with feminism.”
And then, in what one can only assume was the manic state one enters after reading a book that shakes you to your core, Ratajkowski felt the need to know more about the cerebral, witty Irish writer behind the book. Per her Instagram Story, she landed on Alexandra Schwartz’s New Yorker piece “A New Kind of Adultery Novel,” which Ratajkowski didn’t simply read to herself — she annotated it.
One thing she found herself drawn to was Schwartz’s analysis about an inside joke between Bobbi and Frances, where they playfully ask each other philosophical questions about friendship and communication. Schwartz continues: “Everyone defines the common terms of life for herself, because everyone makes up her own life. What is a marriage, if it can be opened? What is love, if it can be shared?”
This passage induces within Ratajkowksi a galaxy-brain moment about social constructs, which she shared on her Instagram.
“If all these definitions of ‘terms’ we have made up for ourselves, that we have a deep understand of, that we FEEL and KNOW to be true — if they can be broken a part and redifened [sic], if they are truly subjective — then what is anything?” she writes alongside a screenshot of the New Yorker story. She was also struck later by a passage about self-delusion and self-awareness, and what it means to be wrong, which she found “deeply relatable.”
“Sometimes I feel stuck behind a fuzzy glass door that everyone else can see through,” she writes. “I have a desperate desire to open up that glass and understand life and it’s perspectives from every angle.”
In another corner of her story, she adds: “I’d accept and celebrate being wrong about everything, because it would be a relief. It would be some kind of evidence that I had broken through my own perspective of ‘fogged glasses.’”
Who among us has not entered into a similar obsessive crazed state immediately upon finishing Conversations With Friends? Truly, I cannot wait to hear her thoughts on Normal People.