Harvill Secker

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The home of the best writing from around the world

A brief history of Harvill Secker

Harvill Secker is the home of the best in international literature from around the world, born of two distinguished lists – The Harvill Press and Secker & Warburg – that between them survived Blitz bombings, multiple bankruptcies and an obscenity trial – whilst coolly publishing over 20 Nobel and Booker Prize-winners.

Today we publish some of the most exciting writers from across the globe, bringing together works in English and in translation, from Karl Ove Knausgaard and Haruki Murakami to Ruth Ware, J.M. Coetzee and Louis de Bernières, alongside a bestselling crime list whose stars number Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell and Fred Vargas. We are passionate about finding and championing the great storytellers of the future, building on an iconic roster that includes Raymond Carver, Tennessee Williams, George Orwell, D.H. Lawrence, Mikhail Bulgakov and Franz Kafka.

Books published by Harvill Secker include:

A Death in the Family book cover

Karl Ove Knausgaard

A Death in the Family 

Sapiens book cover

Yuval Noah Harari


The Snowman book cover

Jo Nesbo

The Snowman

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle book cover

Haruki Murakami

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

The Night Circus book cover

Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

HHhH Book cover

Laurent Binet


In a Dark Dark Wood cover

Ruth Ware

In a Dark Dark Wood

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin book cover

Louis de Bernières

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Out Stealing Horses book cover

Per Petterson

Out Stealing Horses

The Name of the Rose book cover

Umberto Eco

The Name of the Rose


“All about animals and very anti-Russian! I’m afraid you’re not going to like it.”

George Orwell pitching Animal Farm to Fredric Warburg of Secker & Warburg.

The book went on to save the company.


The Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize


Harvill Secker is delighted to announce that Korean will be the focus language for the 2017 Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize.

Now in its eighth year, the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize aims to recognise the achievements of young translators at the start of their careers. It is an annual prize, which focuses on a different language each year and is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 34, with no restriction on country of residence. Details of the short story to be translated will be announced shortly.

This year’s prize will be judged by translator Deborah Smith, renowned for her translation of Han Kang’s Man Booker International prizewinning novel The Vegetarian into English, Jonathan Morley, Programme Director at Writers’ Centre Norwich, and Harvill Secker editor Ellie Steel. Two more judges will be announced at a later date.

Harvill Secker is delighted to be continuing its partnership with Writers’ Centre Norwich. This year’s winner will take part in a Writers’ Centre Norwich Emerging Translator Mentorship, presented in association with the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, with acclaimed translator and judge of this year’s prize Deborah Smith, and will also be invited to participate in Crossing Border festival in November 2017.

As well as the mentorship and taking part in Crossing Border, the winning translator will receive £1000 and a selection of Harvill Secker titles.

Entry details will be announced here in the coming weeks.

If you have any queries, please contact us at: youngtranslatorsprize@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk

The Judges

Deborah Smith (translator)
Deborah Smith's translations from the Korean include The Vegetarian, Human Acts and The White Book by Han Kang, and A Greater Music and Recitation by Bae Suah. In 2015 Deborah founded Tilted Axis Press, publishing cult contemporary Asian writing. In 2016 her translation of The Vegetarian won the Man Booker International Prize and an LTI Korea Award. She also won an Arts Foundation Award for her work as a translator both on and off the page, which includes teaching, mentoring, consultancy and reviewing. She studied English at the University of Cambridge and Korean Literature at SOAS. She tweets as @londonkoreanist.

Jonathan Morley (Writers’ Centre Norwich)
Jonathan Morley is the Programme Director at Writers’ Centre Norwich, developing their work in literary translation and diversity as well as overseeing the organisation’s wider creative activities. His new collection of poems, Euclid’s Harmonics, winner of a Café Writers Commission, is available from Ink Sweat & Tears.

Ellie Steel (editor)
Ellie Steel is an editor at Harvill Secker, where she works with authors including Karl Ove KnausgaardÉdouard LouisStefan Hertmans and Dag Solstad. Ellie is the coordinator of the annual Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize.

Two more judges will be announced at a later date.

Previous winners of the Young Translators’ Prize

2010: ‘El hachazo’ by Matías Néspolo, translated from the Spanish by Beth Fowler

2011: ‘Gothic Night’ by Mansoura Ez Eldin, translated from the Arabic by Wiam El-Tamami

(available to read on Granta)

2012: ‘The Wig’ by Han Don, translated from the Chinese by Philip Hand

(available to read on Granta)

2013: ‘O sucesso’ by Adriana Lisboa, translated from the Portuguese by Lucy Greaves

(available to read on Granta)

2014: ‘Der Hausfreund’ by Julia Franck, translated from the German by Eleanor Collins

(available to read on Granta)

2015: ‘Tatuaż’ by Maciej Miłkowski, translated from the Polish by Tul’si (Tuesday) Bhambry

(available to read on Granta)

2016: ‘Svømme under vann’ by Merethe Lindstrøm, translated from the Norwegian by Marta Eidsvåg

(available to read on Granta)

Harvill Secker is proud to work with

Writers’ Centre Norwich is a centre for national and international literary exchange in England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.  Its mission is to put literature at the heart of contemporary culture.  Through pioneering and collaborative projects, it explores the artistic and social power of creative writing and literary translation.  It is due to open as the National Centre for Writing at Dragon Hall Norwich in 2018. www.writerscentrenorwich.org.uk

More resources for Harvill Secker

Academic inspection copies

If you are an academic, and wish to order an inspection copy, please email vintageclassics@randomhouse.co.uk.

Remember to include details of the book you are requesting, the course you are considering adopting the book for, the number of students taking that course, and the address you would like the book to be delivered to.

This service is only available to residents of the UK and Ireland.