We’re Getting New Sally Rooney This Fall

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017
Photo: Simone Padovani/Awakening/Getty Images

Fellow Sally Rooney heads, rejoice: The best-selling Irish novelist’s latest book, Intermezzo, will be published in the U.S. on September 24 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It’s been three years since we last slipped into the Rooneyverse, practically an eternity considering her usually prolific publishing timeline. I can’t wait for the thoughtful sex, stifling class tensions, and Marxist musings to come.

While Rooney’s three earlier novels — Conversations With Friends in 2017, Normal People the year after, and Beautiful World, Where Are You in 2021 — all focus on the sticky entanglements of young characters navigating sex, friendship, and relationships, it sounds as though Intermezzo will tread new territory and venture into themes of family and grief. According to the book’s description, the story follows two brothers — successful, outgoing 30-something Dublin lawyer Peter and his “loner” competitive-chess-playing younger brother, Ivan — whose lives are upended by their father’s death. Peter starts self-medicating and struggles to keep up his relationships with “enduring first love” Sylvia and Naomi, a college student “for whom life is one long joke” (a quintessential Rooney character). Meanwhile, Ivan strikes up a relationship with Margaret, 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 novel’s publicity copy reads. And while there’s no word as to whether we’ll get bucket-hat merch for this one, FSG tweeted the novel’s opening lines on Thursday:

“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.” 

Excuse me while I mainline this bread crumb of Irish literature. You can preorder here.

We’re Getting New Sally Rooney This Fall