Sally Rooney announces new novel Intermezzo

The bestselling Irish author’s fourth novel will be published by Faber on September 24th

Intermezzo, the fourth novel from the international best-selling writer Sally Rooney, will be published by Faber on September 24th, the publisher has announced. Knopf will publish in Canada and Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the US.

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

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 22-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.

Rooney is the author of Conversations with Friends (2017), Normal People (2018) and Beautiful World, Where Are You (2021). She won the 2017 Sunday Times/Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award. Normal People was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won Irish Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, Waterstones’ Book of the Year and a Costa Book Award.

All three novels have been international best-sellers, selling more than three million copies in Britain and Ireland alone, and her work is translated into more than 40 languages. Last month, Rooney won several awards at the Nielsen BookData Bestseller Awards in London, honouring authors whose books have now sold more than 250,000, 500,000 and one million copies. Rooney’s Normal People has sold more than one million copies in the UK alone while her first novel, Conversations with Friends, and most recent book, Beautiful World, Where Are You, have each sold more than 500,000 copies.

Her first two novels have been adapted as television series for the BBC. In 2022, Time magazine named her among the 100 most influential people in global culture. She lives and works in her native Co Mayo.

Martin Doyle

Martin Doyle

Martin Doyle is Books Editor of The Irish Times