The Malta Independent 22 June 2024, Saturday
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Sally Rooney has a new novel, 'Intermezzo,' coming out in the fall

Associated Press Wednesday, 15 May 2024, 10:38 Last update: about 2 months ago

Sally Rooney will have a new novel out this fall, "Intermezzo," a story of love, family and grief centered around two brothers.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux announced Thursday that the novel, the Irish author's fourth, will be published Sept. 24.

"Since I began work on this novel several years ago, its characters and their relationships have become an important part of my life," Rooney said in a statement. "I hope that I've done them some justice in writing the book, and that they might find a place in the lives of readers too."


Rooney, 33, has been a published novelist for less than a decade, but is now one of the world's most popular, celebrated and talked about literary authors. Her novels have sold millions of copies and two of them, "Conversations with Friends" and "Normal People," were adapted into television miniseries. Rooney's most recent book, "Beautiful World, Where Are You," came out in 2021.

According to the publisher, "Intermezzo" tells of brothers Peter and Ivan Koubek and how they cope with the death of their father. Peter is a successful Dublin lawyer, in his 30s, who is "medicating himself to sleep and struggling to manage his relationships with two very different women – his enduring first love Sylvia, and Naomi, a college student for whom life is one long joke." Ivan, 22, has begun seeing an older woman with a "turbulent" past.

"For two grieving brothers and the people they love, this is a new interlude — a period of desire, despair and possibility — a chance to find out how much one life might hold inside itself without breaking," the publisher's announcement reads in part.

Mitzi Angel, the president of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, has worked with Rooney on all of her novels, starting when Angel was publisher of the British house Faber & Faber. She remembers first reading Rooney in a London hotel, and thinking "This is sharp, this is funny, this is distinct," qualities the author retains, she says.

Asked if she knows how Rooney came up with the idea for "Intermezzo" (the author's parents are still living), Angel said they never discussed it.

"We were just very focused on the text, and that's always been case," Angel said. "What is wonderful to me is the conversations we have. She's an intellectual, certainly, but she also approaches her books in a way that is quite striking. She's really guided by her characters. She becomes familiar with them. She's bereft when she finishes a novel."

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