Normal People actor to narrate Sally Rooney’s next novel

Hardwicke starred alongside Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones in the 2020 drama miniseries

Inga Parkel
New York
Monday 24 June 2024 17:14 BST
Normal People first trailer

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Louise Thomas

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Normal People’s Éanna Hardwicke will narrate the audio version of Sally Rooney’s forthcoming novel, Intermezzo.

Hardwicke, 27, played Rob Hegarty in the Emmy-nominated TV adaptation of the Irish author’s best-selling novel alongside Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones.

“Her writing was a real gift to act, so it is a privilege to get to share in the Intermezzo story,” Hardwicke said, according to The Hollywood Reporter, “and to try and capture Sally’s inimitable voice.”

Intermezzo will land as Rooney’s fourth book, following 2017’s Conversations with Friends, Normal People (2018) and Beautiful World, Where Are You (2021).

Breaking the format of its predecessors, the new book will follow two brothers, Peter and Ivan Koubek, and their very different ways of dealing with the death of their father.

“Sally has a beautiful way of bringing us into her character’s hearts and minds,” Hardwicke added. “Normal People, like so many others, played a big part in my life, and I have been moved and transported by each of Sally’s wonderful novels. They do what great stories do: make you laugh, make you cry and – hopefully – see the world a little more vividly afterward.”

Normal People starred Mescal and Edgar-Jones as leads Connell and Marianne as they drift in and out of each other’s romantic lives throughout young adulthood.

‘Sally [Rooney] has a beautiful way of bringing us into her character’s hearts and minds,’ Éanna Hardwicke said
‘Sally [Rooney] has a beautiful way of bringing us into her character’s hearts and minds,’ Éanna Hardwicke said (Getty Images)

Mescal’s portrayal earned him an Emmy nomination for Lead Actor in a Limited Anthology Series or Movie at the 2020 ceremony.

Last month, Faber unveiled the Intermezzo cover, which shows a small man standing between a larger man’s legs next to a fallen chess piece, on X/Twitter.

“Through the components of everyday life, Sally Rooney builds a world of ethical complexity that matches that of the great 19th-century novels,” publishers Farrar, Straus and Giroux President told People in a statement.

Intermezzo is an astonishing novel: it marks yet another advance in the work of a writer who captures our life and our times with more stylistic elan and generosity of spirit than ever.”

Peter, one of the protagonists in Rooney’s latest novel, is a lawyer in his thirties who is successful, confident and apparently unassailable.

However, he struggles with grief and self-medicates while struggling to manage relationships with two very different women.

His relationship with his first love Sylvia is enduring, but Naomi, a college student, feels life is one long joke.

Meanwhile, Ivan, Peter’s 22-year-old brother, is a competitive chess player. He sees himself as socially awkward, a loner and the opposite of his elder brother. He meets an older woman called Margaret who is emerging from a turbulent past and their lives become rapidly and intensely intertwined.

The print edition and audiobook of Intermezzo are both scheduled to be released on September 24.

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