June 18, 2013

Lucy Wadham Takes a Close Look at Both the French and British

Ben Nason
Lucy Wadham
Photo: Ben Nason
In the world of writing, memoirs are usually a one hit wonder.  Once you've used your life's material, that source is exhausted and then it's time to move on to other topics.   But British author Lucy Wadham triumphantly breaks through this limitation, with the recent publication of two vastly different memoirs:  Heads and Straights, and So French.

In honor of the London Underground's 150 anniversary this year, Transport for London and Penguin books teamed up to create a series celebrating life in London, in which each book was inspired by one of the 12 different Tube lines.   Lucy was commissioned to write about the Circle Line which serves the Chelsea neighborhood where she grew up in the 1970s. Heads and Straights recounts Wadham's family experiences in the pre-Thatcher days of punk, drugs and rebellious teenagers.

"In Heads and Straights, Lucy creates a funny, moving account of a group of people eager to escape the confines of class. Through interlocking tales of their extravagant and often self-destructive journeys away from the Circle line stops of Sloane Square, South Kensington and Gloucester Road, Lucy evokes the collision between conformism and bohemian excess and the complicated class antipathies that flourished in that particular time and place."*

Moving across la manche, Lucy examines the cultural differences between the British and the French, in The Secret Life of France.  Unlike most 'froglit', that unique genre of British writers' fish-out-of-water experiences in France, Lucy gives us her insider's perspective.  With her marriage into a Parisian bourgeois family, children in the French educational system, assignments as an investigative journalist for the BBC, and over twenty years of living in France, Lucy was well placed to give the insightful observations and amusing anecdotes that made The Secret Life of France become a bestselling hit after its release in 2009.

Following the success of The Secret Life of France, the eagerly awaited French version (So French -  L'amour Vache d'une Anglaise Pour la France) was just released .  For the launch of So French, Lucy's been busy giving media interviews with the likes of TV5 Monde, Europe 1, and France Bleu.  So French also enjoyed an elegant launch party on June 3rd, at a chic art gallery in the 6eme arrondissement, complete with champagne.

In addition to the publication of these two books this spring, Lucy spoke about Heads and Straights at the prestigious Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts - aka The Woodstock of the Mind.

Prior to these memoirs, Lucy wrote three thriller and crime fiction novels:
·         Lost:  2000  short listed for the Macallan Golden Dagger Award and optioned for the screen by John Malkovich
·         Castro's Dream:  2003
·         Greater Love:  2007

In January of this year at WICE's Write-In course, Lucy came to speak about her experiences and journey as a published writer.   Five months later, Lucy shows us that she's having a blockbuster year with publications, interviews, and speaking engagements.  Not to mention that she's also currently working on her next book, Bomb Damage.

What about you?  Are you making progress towards your life goals and dreams?  Need a jumpstart or motivation?  Then check out WICE's diverse selection of courses and events to find your own source of inspiration.

To find out more about Lucy Wadham, visit:

*source: lucywadham.com

Post by Veronica Kugler