Wendy Wallace is a writer and former journalist. Her first novel - THE PAINTED BRIDGE - was published in May 2012 (Simon & Schuster UK; Scribner USA; Piemme Italy).
Set in 1859, The Painted Bridge is the story of a woman's incarceration by her husband in a private asylum in Victorian London. Anna Palmer's visions make sense to her - but not to those around her. Locked in a dingy mansion, under the care of unscrupulous proprietor Querios Abse, she is desperate to escape. But the eponymous bridge over the lake bordering the asylum is not what it appears and only Dr Lucas St Clair - the photographer who believes his pictures can see into patients' minds - seems to offer a chance of escape. Ultimately, Anna must find a more difficult way out of her predicament, a way that means facing the truth about her own past as well as fashioning a different future.
One of Wendy's editors says of The Painted Bridge: "This is a marvellous book...a novel that one can read with both the head and the heart. It's stimulating intellectually but it's deeply moving, it touches on substantial issues but is also a hugely entertaining, page-turning read."
Wendy's second novel - THE SACRED RIVER - will be published in July 2013. Linked to characters from THE PAINTED BRIDGE, it is the story of three women who set off from a fog-bound London for the light and heat of Egypt, in 1882. None can return unchanged and one will never return.
Wendy is the author of two non-fiction books. DAUGHTER OF DUST (Simon & Schuster 2009) is the life story of Leila Aziz, a Sudanese woman abandoned by her society who survived to found a charity based in Khartoum that seeks to help abandoned children. Wendy Wallace has an interest in Sudan that goes back over twenty five years and met Leila Aziz in 2006 while making a BBC Radio 4 piece about Khartoum's abandoned babies.
Her book on life in an inner city primary school - ORANGES AND LEMONS (Routledge, 2005) - was featured in The Times, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, New Statesman, BBC Radio 4 and Radio London, among others.
Wendy Wallace was senior features writer for the Times Educational Supplement for ten years, specialising in social issues in schools. In 2001, she was Education Journalist of the Year. Judge Peter Preston commented: "Wendy writes brilliantly and simply."
She has written for The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times magazine, The Scotsman, Middle East magazine, New Africa, Reportage, and other newspapers and magazines.
Her short stories have been published by Methuen and Iron Press.
Party held for Desmond Elliott Prize longlisted authors
Wendy Wallace (front row, right), and eight of the other authors longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize, together with the Prize's three judges, Miriam Robinson of Foyles; Robert Collins, Deputy Literary Editor of the Sunday Times; and novelist Joanne Harris, chair at a party at Foyles Charing Cross Road.
Wendy Wallace's longlisted book, The Painted Bridge, has recently been released in paperback, and her second novel, The Sacred River, will be published on 4th July.
The shortlist will be announced on 23 May.
The Painted Bridge by Wendy Wallace longlisted for The Desmond Elliott Prize
Wendy Wallace's debut novel, The Painted Bridge, has been longlisted for The Desmond Elliott Prize 2013. The prize is one of the most prestigious awards for debut novelists from the UK and Ireland.
Jonathan Ruppin, Web Editor of Foyles Bookshop said: “The Desmond Elliott Prize has proved consistent in spotting excellence; all previous winner have gone on to write well-received, wonderful books and this year’s longlist promised just as much potential.”
Set in Victorian England, The Painted Bridge tells the story of recently-married Anna Palmer, who is tricked by her husband into leaving home and becoming incarcerated against her will in Lake House, a private asylum for genteel women of a delicate nature. An elegant, emotionally suspenseful tale of self-discovery, secrets, and a search for truth and freedom.
The shortlist will be announced on May 23 and the overall winner will be revealed at a ceremony at Fortnun & Mason on June 27.
The paperback edition of The Painted Bridge is published on 25th April.
Francesca Main at Simon & Schuster UK and Samantha Martin at Scribner (S&S) USA acquired, for six figures at simultaneous auctions between UK and US publishers, World English Language rights to Wendy Wallace's historical novel The Painted Bridge. The book is co-agented by Ivan Mulcahy and Laetitia Rutherford. Italian rights were pre-empted by Mariagiulia Castagnone, Editorial Director of Piemme. Set in the mid-nineteenth century, as superstitions collide with a new scientific understanding, THE PAINTED BRIDGE is a powerful story of a woman's self-discovery, and the search for the truth in a world where the line between madness and sanity seems ever finer.