Harvill Secker has acquired a new novel by A.D Miller, author of the Man Booker-shortlisted debut Snowdrops (Atlantic, 2011), called Independence Square.
Set during a revolution in Kiev, Independence Square tells "the story of a man struggling to understand his past and of a country striving to escape its history". Liz Foley, publishing director at Harvill Secker, bought UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) from Zoë Waldie at Rogers, Coleridge and White, with plans to publish in February 2020.
According to Harvill Secker, Miller's novel is about grand upheavals of state, agonising affairs of the heart and how they intersect, as well as about thwarted idealism, money and corruption, and where, in the 21st century, power really lies.
The blurb reads: "A young woman scrambles up the icy hill above Independence Square, desperate to avert the bloody crackdown that threatens the protesters below. The outcome of a revolution, and her brother’s safety, depend on her. Though neither of them realise it, so does the fate of the man she is frantic to see. A decade later, Simon Davey, a disgraced British diplomat, follows Olesya Zarchenko into the Tube in London, convinced she was responsible for his ruin. When he tracks her to a riverside mansion he begins to see that Olesya’s life has not been what he thought it was, and neither has his own."
Foley commented: "At Harvill Secker we’ve long admired A.D. Miller’s work and his command of pace, character and theme in Independence Square makes it both an utterly compelling and deeply thought-provoking read. It is a novel that illuminates both personal and political relationships and reflects powerfully on the world we are living in now. We are over the moon to welcome such an exceptional writer to the Harvill Secker list."
Miller said: "Since my time as a foreign correspondent, I've wanted to set a novel during a revolution - with all the vertigo and hope, wild gambles and urgent moral choices that are involved. Independence Square is a story about people caught up in that euphoria, and in its aftermath. I'm thrilled to be telling it with Liz Foley and her great team at Harvill Secker, and to be joining their fantastic, worldly list."
Independence Square follows Miller's first novel, Snowdrops (Atlantic), about moral degradation in modern Russia, which was shortlisted for a number of prizes including 2011's Man Booker and and has been translated into 25 languages, and a second novel, The Faithful Couple (Little, Brown), a story of friendship and remorse which was published in 2015. He is also the author of The Earl of Petticoat Lane (Arrow), a memoir about immigration, class, the Blitz and the underwear industry that was shortlisted for the Wingate prize. As Moscow correspondent for The Economist, he travelled widely across the former Soviet Union and covered the Orange Revolution in Ukraine; he is now the magazine’s culture editor and is based in London.