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“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

Chief Engineer, my biography of Washington Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, appears in June from Bloomsbury on both sides of the Atlantic. I’ll be in the UK and the States over the summer to promote it — watch this space! I’m very glad  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!

Upcoming events

May 23 come meet Min Jin Lee at Asia House in London: we’ll be talking about her stunning novel, Pachinko, which David Mitchell has called “A deep, broad, addictive history of a Korean family in Japan enduring and prospering through the 20th century.” More info and tickets right here.

May 25 I’ll be chatting with the wonderful Elizabeth Strout about her new novel, Anything is Possible — and much more, I’m sure. We’ll be at Waterstones in Gower Street, London.

And since 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Alan Garner’s The Owl Service, 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.

Events for Chief Engineer

Links will be posted as they become available… click to buy tickets!

May 28: Bath Festival, 11 am

June 1: British Library, London, evening — the official UK launch of Chief Engineer, 7 pm – 8.30

June 3: Hay Festival, 5.30 pm

June 22: Shakespeare & Company, Paris, 7 pm

June 26: 5×15, London

July 8: Roebling Museum, Roebling, New Jersey, 1 pm

July 11: Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn, New York, 6.30 pm

July 12: Museum of the City of New York, Manhattan, 6.30 pm

July 13: The Mercantile Library, Cincinnati, Ohio

July 15: National Museum of Industrial History, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

August 24: Edinburgh International Book Festival

September 11: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

October 21: Raworths Harrogate Literature Festival

Quote of the day

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