The author of international bestseller The Night Circus returns with a magical, timeless and wholly original love story set in a secret underground world.

Liz Foley, Publishing Director at Harvill Secker, has acquired UK & Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Richard Pine at InkWell Management. Published by Harvill Secker in 2011, The Night Circus was a Sunday Times bestseller, and was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Galaxy Book Awards. It has been translated into 37 languages; is currently in development with Lionsgate as both a feature film and stage play; and has sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a strange book hidden in the library stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues – a bee, a key, and a sword – that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to a subterranean library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians – it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose – in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

The Starless Sea contains the hallmarks of Morgenstern’s The Night Circus – magic, mystery, and inimitable imagination – and brings them to life in a richly layered and entirely new story.

‘Seven years ago the circus arrived without warning. Next fall readers and booksellers will be invited to sail The Starless Sea. When I started working on my new novel,’ says Erin Morgenstern, ‘I thought I was writing a book about books but as it turns out I was writing a book about stories. Stories and choices and change and also time and fate and video games. It took quite a while to get it all to fit in a single book, even down to the bees.’

Liz Foley says: ‘From the first page of this exhilarating and glorious book I was transported to the unique world which only Erin could have created. I could not let go of Zachary’s story until the very last, intensely moving, page and so many scenes and characters are vividly imprinted in my memory. Erin’s imaginative powers are unparalleled and this is a truly immersive, epic book about storytelling itself. After the wonder of The Night Circus, it’s incredible to have a novel that even exceeds that one in its flair, richness and ingenuity. Nothing else like it will be published next year.’

Doubleday, an imprint of Penguin Random House US, and Doubleday Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada, will simultaneously publish The Starless Sea on 5 November 2019.

For more information please contact:
Bethan Jones, Head of Publicity, Vintage

About Erin Morgenstern:
Erin Morgenstern is the author of The Night Circus, a #1 international bestseller that has been sold around the world and translated into thirty-seven languages. She has a degree in Theatre from Smith College, an ever-growing collection of jewelry made from skeleton keys, and a cat on her lap. She lives in Massachusetts.

Instagram: @erinmorgenstern
Twitter: @erinmorgenstern
Facebook: @erinmorgensternbooks

About Harvill Secker:
HARVILL SECKER has published some of the most iconic and inspiring literary works of the last 100 years, bringing international writing to the attention of British readers. Martin Secker Ltd was founded in 1910 and became Secker & Warburg in 1936. The Harvill Press was founded in 1946. The two imprints were merged in 2005 to become Harvill Secker.

Harvill Secker is home to major writers such as J.M. Coetzee, José Saramago, Haruki Murakami, Louis de Bernières, Günter Grass, Denis Johnson, Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbo, Karl Ove Knausgaard and Umberto Eco. Great writers from the list’s history include George Orwell, Colette, Boris Pasternak, Thomas Mann, Yukio Mishima, Mikhail Bulgakov, Vasily Grossman and Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.

Harvill Secker is part of the VINTAGE division of Penguin Random House.