Born in Warwickshire, England. Education: Cambridge University, B.S. (English).
Home—Islington, England. Agent—Author Mail, c/o HarperCollins, 77-85 Fulham Palace Rd., Hammersmith, London W6 8JB, England.
Novelist and journalist. Worked as an actress; British Broadcast Corporation World Service, London, England, radio producer and reporter for twelve years.
The Trials of Tiffany Trott, Onyx (New York, NY), 1998.
The Making of Minty Malone, Onyx (New York, NY), 1999.
Out of the Blue, HarperCollins (London, England), 2001, Red Dress Ink (New York, NY), 2003.
Rescuing Rose, HarperCollins (London, England), 2002.
Behaving Badly, HarperCollins (London, England), 2003.
After changing careers from actress to radio producer, Isabel Wolff became an author, as she explained on her Web site, "without ever having set out to be a novelist." While working as a producer and reporter for the British Broadcast Corporation, Wolff also wrote freelance articles for several periodicals. In 1997 the London Daily Telegraph asked her to write a comic column, and it was there that popular British working-girl persona Tiffany Trott was born. Tiffany's exploits interested HarperCollins, who commissioned Wolff to turn the column into a book. Tiffany is a thirty-seven-year-old London-based copy writer who, after having been dumped by her guy, goes on a quest to find a new man. She goes on blind dates, attends singles events, and answers personal ads. Eventually she finds "Seriously Successful" only to find out he is seriously married. New Yorker book critic Liesl Schillinger likened Wolff's 1998 book The Trials of Tiffany Trott to popular British bachelorette heroine Bridget Jones. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the novel "hilarious and distinctly British," with a "quaint English vocabulary" sure to "add to the amusement for stateside readers."
Wolff's second novel, The Making of Minty Malone, tells the tale of a recently dumped radio reporter trying to cope with being jilted at the altar. In Publishers Weekly the critic admired Wolff's "unwavering sense of humor and offhand wit." Despite the "sappy ending," the reviewer concluded, the author's "talent for outrageous characters" makes this novel a success.
Out of the Blue, Wolff's third book, was called a "sweet, funny romance" by Booklist contributor Kristine Huntley. Faith Martin is a weather forecaster who discovers her husband has been cheating on her. With her teenage daughter and her glamorous magazine-editor best friend, Faith sets out to find another proverbial fish in the sea. Out of the Blue is "genuinely funny," a Publishers Weekly contributor claimed, but the "odd plot twists feel contrived" and sometimes the protagonist is "so clueless that she can be painful to watch."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 15, 2003, Kristine Huntley, review of Out of the Blue, p. 1058.
New Yorker, February 21-28, 2000, Liesl Schillinger, review of The Trials of Tiffany Trott, p. 58.
Publishers Weekly, June 28, 1999, review of The Trials of Tiffany Trott, p. 76; June 26, 2000, review of The Making of Minty Malone, p. 56; January 27, 2003, review of Out of the Blue, p. 237.
Isabel Wolff Web site,http://www.isabelwolff.com (May 21, 2003).*