Read the opening lines of Sally Rooney’s next novel. ‹ Literary Hub


Drew Broussard

February 29, 2024, 10:37am

Get out your bucket hats: Sally Rooney has a new novel! Intermezzo will be arriving September 24 from FSG (and Knopf in Canada, and Faber in the UK). You are likely familiar with Rooney’s work, but just in case you need a reminder or recently woke up from a decades-long nap, Rooney is the international bestselling author of Beautiful World Where Are You, Normal People, and Conversations With Friends. The latter two novels were turned into major television events featuring beautiful Irish people and their feelings. In 2022, Time magazine named her among the 100 most influential people in global culture.

Here’s the jacket copy:

Aside from the fact that they are brothers, Peter and Ivan Koubek seem to have little in common. Peter is a Dublin lawyer in his thirties—successful, competent, and apparently unassailable. But in the wake of their father’s death, he’s 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 is a twenty-two-year-old competitive chess player. He has always seen himself as socially awkward, a loner, the antithesis of his glib elder brother. Now, in the early weeks of his bereavement, Ivan meets Margaret, an older woman emerging from her own turbulent past, and their lives become rapidly and intensely intertwined.

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.

And those opening lines, per Faber Books:

Sounds like what one might expect from a Sally Rooney joint—but this time, family! Brothers, even! There is sure to be discourse, so best start preparing yourselves now—it’ll be just the thing to distract us from what will certainly, by that time, be an inevitable and pervasive feeling of doom regarding the 2024 elections. Preorder it here.

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