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28th November 2023

Joanna Miller (1987, English) to publish book set in Oxford

Alumna Joanna Miller (1987, English Literature) has recently sold the rights to her debut novel to Fig Tree. The Eights will follow an unlikely friendship between four women at Oxford University, some of the first ever to matriculate, after the First World War. Joanna has been a teacher and literary advisor, and her rhyming verse has been filmed twice by BBC. In 2015, she won the Bloomsbury Publishing and National Literacy Trust Poetry Prize. The book is co-edited by another alumna of the College, Ella Harold (2013, French and German).

Joanna’s book will be published as a lead hardback title in the summer of 2025. The novel’s rights have also been sold in Germany and France.

The synopsis reads: “Oxford, 1920. For the first time in its 1,000-year history, the world’s most famous university has admitted female students. Burning with dreams of equality, education and emancipation, four young women move into neighbouring rooms in Corridor Eight of St Hugh’s College. Beatrice, Dora, Marianne and Otto (collectively known as The Eights) have come here from all walks of life – driven by their own motives, each holding tight to their secrets – and are thrown into an unlikely, life-affirming friendship.”

Publishing director of Fig Tree, Helen Garnons-Williams, said: “Joanna Miller’s vibrant, richly-layered novel is a celebration of female friendship, a love-letter to academia, to a time and a place and to the women who fought to be there. Marianne, Dora, Otto and Beatrice stole our hearts, and the twists and revelations as their stories unfold make The Eights as compelling as it is transporting. We are hugely excited to be publishing it at Fig Tree and to welcome Joanna to the list.”

Joanna Miller added: “I am incredibly grateful to [my literary agent] Marina for championing The Eights with such passion. She has found the perfect home for the novel at Fig Tree. Helen and her colleague Ella Harold are brilliant to work with and I have learnt so much from them. I feel very fortunate to have such a talented team behind my debut and cannot wait to introduce Marianne, Dora, Otto and Beatrice to readers.”

Congratulations to Joanna Miller on this exciting achievement!

Joanna Miller

Photo of Joanna Miller © Lucy Noble photography

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