Louisa studied at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music as a classical violinist. She subsequently turned to literature, earning a Ph.D. in English at University College London, where she was awarded the West Scholarship and the Rosa Morison Scholarship. Her first novel, The Lodger, was published in 2014, followed by The Dragon Lady in 2019. Her new novel Madwoman will be published by Bloomsbury in June 2022 and will be previewed at the Herts Book Festival.
Madwoman recounts the true story of Nellie Bly, a young woman who in 1887 set out for New York and a career in journalism, determined to make her way as a serious reporter, whatever that may take.
But life in the city is tougher than she imagined. Down to her last dime and desperate to prove her worth, she comes up with a dangerous plan: to fake insanity and have herself committed to the infamous asylum that looms on Blackwell’s Island. There, she will work undercover to document – and expose – the wretched conditions faced by the patients.
But when the asylum door swings shut behind her, she finds herself in a place of horrors, governed by a harshness and cruelty she could never have imagined. Cold, isolated and starving, her days of terror reawaken the traumatic events of her childhood. She entered the asylum of her own free will – but will she ever get out?
Madwoman is the story of a strong and captivating historical figure, who helped reform the mental health care system, and pioneered a path for future women reporters.
For more about Louisa and her books, see https://louisatreger.com/