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“Captivating” — The New York Post on Chief Engineer

Chief Engineer has been named one of Amazon’s Best Science Books of 2017

The Brooklyn Eagle made a terrific little film about me — and Washington, and the Brooklyn Bridge, and Chief Engineer…

“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 TimesThe EconomistThe 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.

Read an exclusive story, Explosive, published by my friends at Boundless. A tale of love and war, of bridges and marriage… And listen to these podcast interviews on WritersCast and Building Stories



Quote of the day

  • - When a man thinks of the past, he becomes kinder. (From Stalker, Andrei Tarkovsky)