Irish author Sally Rooney reveals new novel 'Intermezzo' will be out in September

Sally Rooney
Sally Rooney Copyright Simone Padovani / Awakening / Getty
Copyright Simone Padovani / Awakening / Getty
By Jonny Walfisz
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Sally Rooney returns with ‘Intermezzo’ a story of brothers and lovers, of familial and romantic intimacies, of relationships that don’t quite fit the conventional structures, according to her publisher.


Book lovers rejoice! The Irish writer Sally Rooney, who captured the hearts and minds of millennials everywhere with ‘Normal People’ will be back with her fourth novel later this year.

‘Intermezzo’ will be released by Rooney’s long standing publisher Faber & Faber on 24 September 2024. It will follow the lives of two brothers, Peter and Ivan Koubek. When their father dies, the Koubek brothers are rocked by the loss.

Peter, a lawyer in Dublin, breaks from his previously unassailable character, begins self-medicating and struggles to maintain relationships between two women, his enduring first love and a college student.

Younger brother Ivan is the socially awkward antithesis of his older brother. However, he’s also thrown into a complicated relationship when he becomes entwined with an older woman.

Like all of Rooney’s books, ‘Intermezzo’ promises to plumb the depths of life, love and longing in a way so many readers found staggeringly relatable in her previous works.

“‘Intermezzo’ is a story of brothers and lovers, of familial and romantic intimacies, of relationships that don’t quite fit the conventional structures,” publisher Alex Bowler said.

“After three miraculous books, Sally Rooney’s millions of readers will recognise the beauty and insight, the pain and hope that radiates from this new novel. But it marks an exquisite advance, too, in the work of a writer who seems so attuned to our lives, our hearts and our times,” he continued.

Binding ties

Rooney’s first three books have all been massive literary occasions. Her first novel, ‘Conversations with Friends’, was released in 2017 following a bidding war for the publication rights. It followed two university students as they befriended – and started affairs with – a more mature and successful couple.

It was her sophomore outing, ‘Normal People’, released in 2018, that pushed Rooney’s career into the stratosphere. Once again, it followed the lives of two Trinity College, Dublin students – this time the fraught romance between Connell and Marianne.

As Connell navigates fitting his working-class roots into the elitist environment of the university, Marianne finally finds her feet after years of unpopularity at school. The journey of both characters captured a sense of ennui and romance immediately identifiable to a young modern audience.

‘Normal People’ sold like wildfire, won the Costa Book Award, Irish Novel of the Year, and was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, Dylan Thomas Prize and Women’s Prize for Fiction. It also led to a hit TV series adaptation in 2020 starring Paul Mescal, acting as a launchpad for the now Oscar-nominated Irish actor’s career.

Rooney’s third novel ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You?’ was the first released after Rooney’s ‘Normal People’ fame. It was another big seller and was well reviewed, although failed to capture the astronomical zeitgeist of her previous offering.

That was also followed by the somewhat lacklustre TV adaptation of first novel ‘Conversations with Friends’. Despite a stellar cast including Jemima Kirke and Joe Alwyn, it never managed to translate the original book’s tantalising affairs into on-screen tension.

Having sold over three million books in the UK and Ireland alone, a new release from the 33-year-old writer is set to be the most anticipated book of the year.

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