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

We are delighted to announce that the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize is now open for entry. This year the focus language is Bengali and entrants will translate the short story ‘Half-Timer Pawre’ by Shamik Ghosh, from his collection Elvis O Amolasundari.

Now in its ninth year, the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize aims to encourage and support the next generation of literary translators. 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 more than one full-length translation previously published. There is no restriction on country of residence.

This year’s prize will be judged by renowned translator Arunava Sinha, anthropologist and novelist Tahmima Anam, writer and television presenter Konnie Huq and Harvill Secker editor Mikaela Pedlow.

Harvill Secker is delighted to be continuing its partnership with The National Centre for Writing, and the winning translator will take part in a National Centre for Writing Emerging Translator Mentorship with translator Arunava Sinha.

As well as the mentorship, the winning translator will receive £1,000 and a selection of Harvill Secker books.


How to enter

Deadline for entries: Tuesday 28 August 2018

Please note entries must be received by this date: late entries, regardless of postmark, will not be considered.

You must be between 18 and 34 years of age on the submission deadline. For further terms and conditions please see the entry form.

Download the entry form here

Download the Bengali text here 

Simply send your completed entry form with your translated text to the postal address provided on the entry form. Please note that we are unable to consider entries submitted by email.

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


About Shamik Ghosh

Shamik Ghosh was born in Kolkata in 1983, and started writing from an early age. His first short story was published in eminent literary magazine Desh in 2003. After studying Physics at the University of Calcutta, he worked as a corporate banker in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. In 2014, he left his corporate job to pursue a creative career. His first collection of short stories Elvis O Amolasundari was published in India in 2016. He completed his first short film, Trapeze, in 2017.

In 2017, Shamik was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar, India’s National Academy of Letters Young Writers’ Prize, for his debut short story collection Elvis O Amolasundari (Elvis and Amolasundari), and he also received the Ila Chanda Smriti Puraskar for his work as an emerging Bengali fiction writer, a prize awarded by one of the oldest literary institutions in India, Bangiya Sahitya Parishad.


The Judges

Arunava Sinha
Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction, non-fiction and poetry from Bangladesh and India into English. More than 40 of his translations have been published so far. He is the series editor of the Library of Bangladesh, and he curates the India List for Seagull Books. He is the Books editor at Scroll.in, and he teaches undergraduate classes at Ashoka University.

Tahmima Anam
Tahmima Anam is an anthropologist and novelist. Her debut novel, A Golden Age, won the 2008 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book. In 2013, she was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. She is a Contributing Opinion Writer for The New York Times and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2017, she was a recipient of the O. Henry Prize and featured in Best American Short Stories for her story ‘Garments’. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, she was educated at Mount Holyoke College and Harvard University, and now lives in London.

Konnie Huq
Konnie Huq is a British television presenter and writer. She started her presenting career when she was just 17, fronting a number of children’s programmes on The Children’s Channel, CBBC and GMTV, whilst, at the same time, completing an Economics degree at Cambridge. In 2007 Konnie Huq saw out her tenth and final year on Blue Peter after becoming their 26th presenter. Konnie’s years on Blue Peter saw her taken to the far corners of the world, and among many Blue Peter highlights are: learning to scuba dive; visiting Mozambique to open one of the schools paid for by money raised during the Blue Peter New Future Appeal in 1999; a trip to the village in Bangladesh that her family originate from; learning how to be a rally driver. In recent years she has also interviewed leading stars from music and film as well as two former Prime Ministers: Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Konnie Huq is also an impressive writer. She co-wrote the second instalment of the successful and critically acclaimed Channel 4 series ‘Black Mirror’.

Mikaela Pedlow
Mikaela Pedlow is Assistant Editor at Harvill Secker, where she works with many international authors including Ismail Kadare, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Per Petterson and Enrique Vila-Matas. Mikaela is the coordinator of the annual Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize.

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)

2017: ‘Seven People with the Same Name and their Discrete Moments’ by Han Yujoo, translated from the Korean by Erica Chung.

(available to read on Granta)

Harvill Secker is proud to work with

Opening this summer, the National Centre for Writing will celebrate the best in world literature. A programme of innovative collaborations will engage writers, literary translators and readers, in person and online, in projects that support new voices and new stories, and respond to the rapidly changing world of writing.

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.