The home of the best writing from around the world

Harvill Secker logo

Founded in 1910, Harvill Secker is the dynamic, international imprint at Vintage. Our books range from prizewinning literary fiction and non-fiction to bestselling crime and thrillers. Our writers include Haruki Murakami, Jo Nesbo, J.M. Coetzee, Imogen Hermes Gowar, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Ruth Ware, Louis de Bernières, Abir Mukherjee, Denise Mina, Tommy Orange, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Édouard Louis.

We like to think that our list – in its range, engagement and energy – represents the shelf of a wide and curious reader.

A.S. Byatt's Possession won the Booker in 1990, and was the first of six years in a row where Penguin Random House won. Possession is the story of Maud Bailey, a scholar researching the life and work of her distant relative, a little known 19th-century poet named Christabel LaMotte, and Roland Mitchel, who l is looking into an obscure moment in the life of another Victorian poet, Randolph Henry Ash. As the pair research further, they find a connection between their subjects, and also find themselves falling in love.

Ben Okri's The Famished Road won the award in 1991. It is narrated by Azaro, an abide or spirit child who exists between life and death in the Yoruba tradition of Nigeria. Kirkus Reviews said of the novel: "Okri's tale is a beautifully rendered allegory, enriched by its African setting, of love powerful enough to defy even death and his minions."

The Booker Prize in 1992 was awarded jointly to Michael Ondaatje for The English Patient and Barry Unsworth for Sacred Hunger. The latter is set in the 1700s and follows the entangled fortunes of two cousins. The English Patient is set in 1945 and explores the lives of four very disparate war-torn people.

Following the joint win, the Booker instituted a new rule that only one book could win, although that rule was broken in 2019...

Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha was awarded the Booker in 1993. Set in 1968, its central character is 10-year-old Patrick Clarke, who sees everything but doesn’t always understand it. Reviewing the book, The Independent said: "The novel's boldest feature is its infantile style of narrative... Paddy's account may be inefficient, incoherent and chronologically incapable, but there is never a glimpse of the author at his shoulder, directing operations or forcing him to dwell on portentous moments."

Publicity enquiries

For enquiries relating to titles from Harvill Secker, contact the Vintage publicity team.

We use cookies on this site to enable certain parts of the site to function and to collect information about your use of the site so that we can improve our visitors’ experience.

For more on our cookies and changing your settings click here

Strictly Necessary


Preferences & Features

Targeting / Advertising