Fans of ‘Normal People’ Will Love Sally Rooney’s Short Story

Normal People, the best-selling novel by Sally Rooney, originally began as a short story titled, At the Clinic. Originally published in 2016, The White Review has made At the Clinic available to read online.

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Marianne and Connell from Normal People

If you’ve already binged all of Normal People, the Hulu adaptation based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel, then you will love the short story that started it all. As with most novels, Normal People first began as a short story, titled At the Clinic.



At the Clinic follows Marianne and Connell, both twenty-three years old, as the pair are on their way to Marianne’s dental appointment. On the way, the couple meditates on their relationship with one another and their differing memories of a “hook-up” they had a week prior. The two ruminate on the nature of their relationship and the feelings they have for one another, despite their relationships with other people. The short story touches on the complicated nature of Marianne and Connell’s relationship and the touchiness of relationships during young adulthood.


photo of Marianne and Connell from Normal People

image via RTE


At the Clinic was first published in 2016 in The White Review, a UK-based publication known for its experimental writing. However, Rooney wasn’t quite done with Marianne and Connell. The author told the New Statesman, “their relationship had this texture to it because of their history. Eventually, I thought, what if I just went back and told their story from the beginning, chronologically.” And thank goodness, she did! The White Review has posted the story online, which you can read here!



Featured Image via The New Yorker