Nick Harkaway

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Nick Harkaway
Nick harkaway.jpg
Born Nicholas Cornwell
Cornwall, England
Occupation Novelist and commentator
Genre Fantasy
Notable works The Gone-Away World, Angelmaker, The Blind Giant: Being Human in a Digital World

Nick Harkaway (born 1972) is a novelist and commentator. He is the author of the novels The Gone-Away World, Angelmaker and Tigerman; and a non-fiction study of the digital world, The Blind Giant: Being Human in a Digital World.


Harkaway was born Nicholas Cornwell in Cornwall, England.

He is the son of author John le Carré.[1]

Harkaway was educated at the independent University College School in North London,[2] and Clare College, Cambridge, where he studied philosophy, sociology and politics and took up Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu. He worked in the film industry before becoming an author.[3]


The Gone-Away World[edit]

The Gone-Away World is Harkaway's first novel. The rights were acquired by Heinemann in a seven-way auction in the summer of 2007 for a considerable advance of £300,000. At that time it went by the title, The Wages of Gonzo Lubitsch.[3] It concerns a number of ex-special forces operatives turned truckers who are hired to perform a dangerous mission in a post-apocalyptic world.[1]


Angelmaker is Harkaway's second novel. It follows a number of characters in their adventures around a clockwork device of great power, and is based largely in the United Kingdom. The action takes place around the current day, with discursions to World War II and the years following, and, unlike The Gone-Away World, is narrated in the third person. Angelmaker was released on 2 February 2012 in the UK, and was released in March 2012 in the US.


Tigerman is Harkaway's third novel. It was released by Heinemann on May 22, 2014 in the UK and by Knopf on July 29, 2014 in the US.


The Blind Giant: Being Human in a Digital World[edit]

The Blind Giant (2012) is Harkaway's first work of non-fiction, dealing with the effect of digital change on society and what it means to be human. It was published by John Murray in May 2012. It was described by the Financial Times as 'an impressionistic and discursive journey through the internet’s possibilities and threats',[4] and by The Big Issue as 'absolutely even-handed about it all, refreshingly non-judgmental'.[5]

Other writing[edit]

  • The All and Nothing Days, a short story read on the BBC Radio 3 weekly show The Verb, February 2009[6]
  • Under Milky Way, also read on The Verb, September 2009[7]

Google Book settlement[edit]

Harkaway has been an outspoken critic of the Google Book Search Settlement Agreement, posting on his blog,[8] speaking out on BBC Radio’s The World at One in May 2009, and appearing on a television debate with Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Tom Watson MP in September 2009.


  1. ^ a b Jones, Philip (April 15, 2011). "John Murray picks up Harkaway on digital". The Bookseller. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "I blame the schools". Futurebook. Retrieved 2012-07-04. 
  3. ^ a b "Nick Harkaway | Conville and Walsh Literary Agents". Retrieved 2012-07-17. 
  4. ^ "Digital realm". Financial Times. Retrieved 2012-07-04. 
  5. ^ "The Blind Giant". The Big Issue. Retrieved 2012-07-04. 
  6. ^ "Radio 3 Programmes - The Verb, Nick Harkaway/Alex Horne". BBC. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  7. ^ "Radio 3 Programmes - The Verb, Don Paterson/Nick Harkaway/Nemo's Almanac/MacGillivray". BBC. 2009-09-18. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  8. ^ "Google Crunch Time". Nick Harkaway. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 

External links[edit]