“Captivating” — The New York Post on Chief Engineer
Chief Engineer has been named one of Amazon’s Best Science Books of 2017
“Ms. Wagner’s writing is graceful, even evocative, conveying a mellow admiration of Washington Roebling that suits the man… A welcome tribute to the persistence, precision and humanity of Washington Roebling and a love-song for the mighty New York bridge he built with the help of his pioneering, if irascible, father.” — Allen C. Guelzo, The Wall Street Journal
“Washington’s dry wit and even tone give life and personality to Wagner’s already enjoyable prose. The book is also peppered with cheerfully informative footnotes. Perhaps best of all are the quotations from Washington’s letters (including crossed-out lines), which offer unfiltered insight into the mind of a long-dead luminary of American innovation.” — The New York Times
Chief Engineer, my biography of Washington Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, has just been published by Bloomsbury on both sides of the Atlantic. I’m so pleased to be Consulting Literary Editor for Harper’s Bazaar; I write for the magazine every month, and blog for them here. I’m a Contributing Writer for The New Statesman, as well as writing for The Financial Times, The Economist, The New York Times… follow me @EricaWgnr where I’ll post links to my pieces!
“In this keenly observed and deeply felt biography, Erica Wagner brings Washington Roebling to life, examining both the rigorous mathematics and the complex psychology involved in envisioning one of mankind’s greatest built monuments. The narrative is intensely absorbing, the prose tremendously clear, and the characters genuinely unforgettable. This is history of the first order.” —Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon and Far From the Tree
2017 was the 50th anniversary of the publication of Alan Garner’s The Owl Service, so don’t forget that First Light, the book of essays I have edited for Unbound about the great Alan Garner — with contributions from Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Stephen Fry, Ali Smith, Rowan Williams and many others — is just waiting to leap on to your shelves. Here’s a piece about it in the Guardian.