Sally Rooney: Opening lines from Normal People author’s new book released

‘Intermezzo’ will be released on 24 September 2024

Jabed Ahmed
Thursday 29 February 2024 16:55 GMT
Normal People first trailer

The opening lines of Sally Rooney’s new book have been teased by publisher Faber and Faber, ahead of its release this autumn.

Following the success of her first three novels, Intermezzo will hit shelves on 24 September.

The best-selling author has become famous for her stories exploring the complicated relationships between young people, but her new book will follow two brothers, Peter and Ivan Koubek, as they deal with the loss of their father.

The Irish author’s previous novels have all been international best sellers, with Normal People and Conversations with Friends adapted for television.

The opening two lines of Intermezzo read: “Didn’t seem fair on the young lad. That suit at the funeral.

“With the braces on his teeth, the supreme discomfort of the adolescent.”

Publisher Faber and Faber’s description of the novel reads: “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.”

One of the brothers, Peter, a lawyer in his thirties is successful, confident and apparently unassailable. However, he struggles with grief and self-medicates while juggling relationships with two very different women.

Sally Rooney (Getty)

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

Ivan is Peter’s 22-year-old brother and 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.

Intermezzo comes after Beautiful World, Where Are You? and the global success of Normal People and Conversations with Friends

Paul Mescal and Daisy-Edgar Jones in TV adaptation of ‘Normal People’ (BBC/Element Pictures/Hulu)

Alex Bowler, Publisher, acquired UK & Commonwealth and audio rights from Tracy Bohan at the Wylie Agency. Knopf will publish in Canada and Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the US.

He said: ‘Intermezzo is a story of brothers and lovers, of familial and romantic intimacies, of relationships that don’t quite fit the conventional structures.

“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.”

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