Harvill Secker buys O’Connor’s My Father’s House in three-book deal
Harvill Secker has bought the rights for Joseph O’Connor’s My Father’s House, a literary thriller based on the true story of an Irish priest in the Vatican who rescued victims of the Nazis in Rome.
Publisher Liz Foley acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada but including audio, from Isobel Dixon at Blake Friedmann to My Father’s House, as well as two further books set in occupied Rome. It’s set for publication in January 2023.
Set in September 1943, as German forces occupy Rome and SS officer Paul Hauptmann rules the city with terror, the book follows priest Hugh O’Flaherty, who dedicates himself to helping those escaping from the Nazis in Vatican City. O’Flaherty brings together an unlikely band of friends to hide the vulnerable under the noses of the enemy. However, Hauptmann’s net begins closing in on the escape line and the need for a terrifyingly audacious mission grows critical.
O’Connor is the author of nine novels including Star of the Sea (Vintage), Ghost Light (Vintage), and Shadowplay (Vintage). Among his awards are the Prix Zepter for European Novel of the Year, France’s Prix Millepages, and the Irish Pen Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature. In 2014 he was appointed Frank McCourt Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick.
Foley said, “My Father’s House is a moving and masterful literary thriller – quite extraordinary in being a beautiful read and also intensely gripping. We can’t wait to bring readers to the wartime Rome Joe so brilliantly conjures and introduce them to the Escape Line.”
O’Connor said, “This novel means a lot to me and I couldn’t imagine it in better hands as it sets out to meet its readers.”