Author Daniel Wallace and His Gallery of Angels Help Arts & Health at Duke

One of the angelic characters in Daniel Wallace's
One of the angelic characters in Daniel Wallace's "The Angelologia."

Author and illustrator Daniel Wallace, best known for the novel Big Fish, appeared at Duke University Hospital Wednesday to introduce his new limited-edition book, The Angelologia.

The book is a 23-page catalog of charming guardians, from a shepherd of lost cats to the “Angel of Frist Drafts,” who presumably spares writers from typographical gaffes. Hospital employees, friends and fans lined up to greet the author, who autographed copies of his works in the Arts & Health Galleries in the concourse between Duke University Hospital and the Duke Cancer Center. Harpist Leigh Stringfellow provided live music.

Wallace designed and published the book in collaboration with Arts & Health at Duke, a 37-year-old program that provides patients, staff and visitors with opportunities to see and participate in literary, performing and visual arts at Duke University Hospital and hospital-based clinics.

“I support their vision,” Wallace said of the program. “They do in hospitals what I try to do in my work. This is the sort of thing that can really make people happy and healthy.”

Wallace has pledged 100 percent of the book proceeds, priced at $15, to Arts & Health at Duke. The book will be available through the program. A limited number will also be available through the Regulator Bookshop in Durham and Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. 

The original watercolor illustrations for the 20 angels in the book have been on display in the Arts & Health Galleries since early November, and will continue to be displayed through Jan. 5.

Nurse Debra “Dee” LaRaia, who works at the Duke Cancer Center, passes the paintings several times a day.

“They always make me happy,” she said, clutching her purchases from the event -- two copies of Big Fish, and two limited-edition prints of “The Angel of Lost Cats.”

The book signing is part of the ongoing Holiday Art, Literary & Concert Invitational Series through Arts & Health at Duke.

For more information on The Angelologia, call Arts & Health at Duke (919) 684-6124 or email

Below: Daniel Wallace signs a copy of The Angelologia for Duke nurse Bonnie Taylor. Photo by Shawn Rocco.

Daniel Wallace book signing