Susannah Wise


The Second book from Susannah Wise
Out Now

For several months, Marnie, a middle-aged poet and mother, has experienced sightings of her long-dead identical twin sister, Perdita, across London. As a consequence, and due to her crippling writer’s block, she has sought the help of octogenarian Harley Street shrink, Schlap, to work through her problems. Not least her repeated dreams of being a man.

Schlap has problems of his own though, having recently suffered a silent stroke which has affected his memory. Or is he more aware of reality than Marnie herself?

Marnie's long-suffering partner and their three teenage kids are not helping matters. Neither is Marnie’s bohemian Alpha-course attending mum, her diabetic chef dad, nor the inquisitive family dog. Perhaps Marnie’s encounter and blossoming friendship with a woman who she thinks is the living embodiment of long-dead author Katherine Mansfield will provide the key to unlock her mind. Will Marnie’s writing be liberated from its prison? Is she losing her sanity? Will the price she has to pay be bigger than the sum of its parts? And does the previous sentence even make sense? All will be revealed...

A really entertaining, funny, heartfelt read. I loved every bonkers minute."

Sophie Ward

It is magical, nostalgic, current, imaginative, tragic and very funny. I devoured it in two sittings. I saw nothing coming and was surprised and thrilled by the outcome."

Maureen Lipman

Susannah Wise is an actor and writer who grew up in London and the Midlands.

A childhood spent outdoors inspired her love of nature and tree climbing.

The death of her father in 2015 was the catalyst for her first novel, THIS FRAGILE EARTH. His preoccupation with astronomy and the beauty of the night sky formed the jumping-off point for the story. Susannah studied at the Faber Academy, graduating in September 2018, during which time she wrote this second, more peculiar novel.

Both books have been longlisted for the Mslexia prize.

She lives in London with her partner and son.

susannah wise
Susannah Wise
Interview with Steve Yabsley on BBC Radio Bristol 20th June 2021

'Trauma, some researchers argue, may leave a chemical mark on a person’s genes, which then is passed down to their offspring'
inews, 8th July 2021

'Confessions of a Debut Novelist' Podcast
Episode 16. Susannah Wise - This Fragile Earth 21/04/2022

Susannah discusses with Chloe Timms being a debut one year on, how her world-building developed through different drafts, the ups and downs on the way to publication, and the highlights of her debut year.





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Imagined-Things guardian bookshop

'This is an intense, engaging and beautifully written first novel'

Lisa Tuttle - Guardian June 11th, 2021

What would you do to protect your family if the world stopped working?

Not long from now, in a recognisable yet changed London, Signy and Matthew lead a dull, difficult life. They’ve only really stayed together for the sake of their six year old son, Jed. But they’re surviving, just about. Until the day the technology that runs their world stops working.

Unable to use their phones, pay for anything, even open the smart door to their flat, Matthew assumes that this is just a momentary glitch in the computers that now run the world.

But then the electricity and gas are cut off. Even the water stops running. And the pollination drones – vital to the world, ever since the bees all died – are behaving oddly. People are going missing. Soldiers are on the streets. London is no longer safe.

A shocking incident sends Signy and Jed on the run, desperate to flee London and escape to the small village where Signy grew up. Determined to protect her son, Signy will do almost anything to survive as the world falls apart around them. But she has no idea what is waiting for them outside the city.

ISBN: 9781473232327

Paperback out now!

Represented by UNITED AGENTS

0203 214 0800

Laura Macdougall -

Olivia Davies -

Jennifer Thomas - (scripts)




'A compulsive page turner ... The science behind the author's dystopian vision of the future is impressive, but it's the movements of the heart that mark this book as a standout.'

Elspeth Sandys

'Truly gripping.'

Kristin Scott Thomas

'A fabulous, thoughtful, hugely original apocalyptic novel. Highly recommended.'

David Barnett, author of Calling Major Tom

'Poignant and perfect. This Fragile Earth shows us exactly how breakable-and reparable-our world is. Not to be missed!'

Christina Dalcher, author of VOX and Q

'What a mind-bending brilliant read. Beautiful and thought provoking, a powerful tribute to the bond between mother and child, LOVED it.'

Hannah Persaud

'Susannah Wise's first novel is a dystopian triumph: dark, compelling, and all too believable like an extended episode of Black Mirror, it reminds us of the power of love.'

Saul David, author of Victoria's Wars

'Excellent, wonderfully detailed world-building and the very human, very relatable story of trying to save the ones you love tugged at my heart-strings in a sometimes unbearable way.'

Bethany Clift, author of Last One at The Party

'A remarkably original first novel, beautifully written, about a future that could be just around the corner.'

Julie Christie, oscar-winning star of Darling and Doctor Zhivago

'A very British disaster epic. Echoes of John Wyndham. Resonances for today.'

Steven Baxter, co-author of The Long Earth

'This Fragile Earth is smart, with a fantastic sense of foreboding and anxiety, of ordinary lives about to go horribly off the rails... intelligent and accessible, restrained and suspenseful; hugely impressive work from a new writer.'

David Nicholls, author of One Day and Starter for Ten

'This superbly accomplished debut is dark and compelling but ultimately filled with hope. I couldn't put it down.'

Ruth Hogan

'I absolutely DEVOURED this book. It has everything I love - great characters, intrigue, action, heart, drama and hope. Cannot recommend it enough. It was so nice to read something so gripping it got me off my phone for two days.'

Aisling Bea


Alma Mater

Susannah will be joining the Almeida Theatre this June to appear in Alma Mater, directed by Polly Findlay.

Spirit Engineer

'I'm delighted to confirm that my good friend, celebrated actor and inspired author @susannahwise has signed to turn the #TheSpiritEngineer into a screenplay. After signing the film and TV rights last month, I'm just so proud to pass William's story to such a skilful storyteller.''

June 30th, 2022 - 'Second novel, OKAY THEN THAT’S GREAT, unboxing video! Out 21st July'


Five hours in a sound booth recording their second novel: happy, and slightly mad! 'OKAY THEN THAT'S GREAT' out July '22

This Fragile Earth in Paperback

'A very British disaster epic. Echoes of John Wyndham. Resonances for today.'

Steven Baxter, co-author of The Long Earth

'This Fragile Earth' out in paperback April 2022.


Susannah plays the role of Denise in the second series of Apple TV’s hit 'Trying' - May 2021.


Author Events

cheltenham festival

The Age Rage

Honoured to be asked to speak on this panel with the brilliant ⁦Lorraine Candy and Victoria Smith⁩ at Cheltenham Lit Fest. Pls come along to hear us talking about Wimmin and tings.

9th October 2023 6pm


Family Constellations and Other Disasters

Thrilled that myself and Kate Sawyer will be in convo at Waterstones Kensington serving the tea about weird family dynamics and our respective second novels. Please do come along and join us - we'd love to see you there!

7th September 2023 7pm

Kate Sawyer Podcast

Novel Experience

Kate Sawyer and her guests chat about what they write, how they write and we get the lowdown on the experience of seeing your novel out in the world.


Life as a Debut Author

Debut novelist Chloe Timms discusses her atmospheric new novel The Seawomen. She talks about what inspired her and the journey to publication, sharing her passion and writing advice.

Chloe is in conversation with actor and fellow writer Susannah Wise, author of This Fragile Earth and Okay Then That’s Great.

2 June 2022 12:30pm


Confessions of a Debut Novelist

Susannah in conversation with Chloe Timms.

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