Wendy Wallace writes novels exploring the lives of Victorian women. Her first, The Painted Bridge, was set in a women’s asylum in Highgate in 1859. Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott prize, it won the 2014 Chambéry festival English first novel prize. Her second, The Sacred River, is set in Egypt in the early 1880s at a time of political and social turmoil. Both are published by Simon & Schuster in the UK and Scribner in the US. Among the interests explored in her fiction are Victorian social mores, early photography, echoes between past and present and characters forced into change. She is the author of two non-fiction books, Oranges and Lemons: a year in the life of an inner city primary school (Routledge) and Daughter of Dust: growing up abandoned in the desert of Sudan (Simon & Schuster), the story of a courageous Sudanese woman championing children born outside marriage in a conservative Muslim society.
Her books have been translated into six languages including Japanese and a forthcoming edition of Daughter of Dust in Macedonian. Both non-fiction books came out of her work as a journalist, first writing about development in north Africa for Unicef and non-governmental organisations, later examining social issues in schools in features for the Times Educational Supplement. In 2004, she was Edexcel education journalist of the year. Wendy Wallace lives in London, is married to a photographer and has two sons. Her most recent novel, The Unforgetting – about a ghost who becomes a woman – was published in January 2020 by Orion Books, under the pen name Rose Black. She’s writing a fourth historical novel based on the true story of a 19th century English cult.