Wendy Holden is a bestselling author and former war correspondent with more than thirty-five books published, many about remarkable women in war. Having had several works transferred to radio and television and with three optioned for film, Wendy is an experienced and impressive speaker sharing her remarkable stories from 40 years of writing.
About Wendy Holden
Wendy Holden was a respected journalist and war correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, covering news stories around the world. She is also the author of more than thirty-five non-fiction titles featuring inspirational men and women, many of which are international bestsellers. She has sold over two million books.
With a writing career spanning forty years, Wendy Holden has written books on everything from the Holocaust to celebrity memoirs. Ten of her titles have become international bestsellers. She has worked with survivors of war, those who have suffered injustice or shown great courage, and with famous clients including Captain Sir Tom Moore, Goldie Hawn, Barbara Sinatra, and Patricia Gucci.
She has also written about the controversial Irish abortion case, a musical prodigy who survived three concentration camps, and an indefatigable octogenarian nurse known as ‘the Mother Teresa of Africa.’ She penned the memoir of the only woman in the French Foreign Legion, and as the author of Born Survivors, the true story of three young mothers who hid their pregnancies from the Nazis and gave birth in the camps, she has become an international public speaker, addressing everyone from schoolchildren worldwide to members of the US Senate and the House of Lords.
As an antidote to some of her more serious books, Wendy wrote the book of the film The Full Monty and worked alongside Uggie the Oscar-winning Jack Russell from the movie The Artist, and Haatchi & Little B, that adorable disabled dog and boy whose story became a Number One bestseller. One of her talks, Around the World in 30 Books, gives a remarkable insight into the life and work of one of our most prolific and sought-after writers.
Drawing on her own experiences of war and in conversation with Holocaust survivor Eva Clarke, born at the gates of a concentration camp, Wendy Holden delivers a fascinating and moving account of what happened to Eva’s mother and two other pregnant women at the hands of the Nazis. As told in her book Born Survivors, now published in 22 countries, and translated into sixteen languages, their incredibly redemptive stories are full of courage and hope, the kindness of strangers, and the ferocity of a mother’s love. They also illustrate the importance for tolerance, inclusion, and compassion and show how hate speech, if unchecked, can quickly turn into unspeakable violence.
Remarkable stories of war
Drawing on her many books that have a wartime theme, Wendy tells what it’s like to work with elderly veterans and survivors who feel the need to tell their stories before it is too late. The experience of war shaped the lives of these ordinary people forever and forced them to become extraordinary through acts of defiance and hope. A fascinating discussion on the nature of courage and what makes us do something remarkable. Women like Zuzana Ruzickova, a child musical prodigy who survived three concentration camps to become one of the world’s foremost musicians and defy her Communist puppeteers. Zuzana, 90, died less than a week after she finished telling Wendy her story. Or Susan Travers, 94, the only woman in the French Foreign Legion, who fell in love with a French general, following him into the deadliest of battles. She, too died before her book was published in eleven countries. Then there was Marthe Cohn, still alive at 101, who went behind enemy lines as a twenty-two-year-old spy even though she was less than five feet tall – and Jewish. And, of course, Wendy will talk with deep fondness about her friendship with Captain Sir Tom Moore, a veteran of the bitter Burma Campaign who, at 99, decided to do ‘a little walk’ for charity and raised £33 million for the NHS.
Around the World in Thirty Books
Wendy cherry picks stories from her many titles and regales the audience with insider snippets from the lips of Frank Sinatra’s widow, Dean Martin’s daughter, Goldie Hawn, Captain Sir Tom Moore, and Billy Connolly. She gives a potted version of her two novels, the memoir of the Gucci heiress, and transports listeners back to WWII and the trials of war. Her three canine escapades get a brief airing too as she skips you through the tales of Uggie the dog, Haatchi & Little B, and Mr Scraps, a mongrel caught up in the Blitz. This is a whirlwind tour through a fascinating writing career and one that never fails to surprise.