Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in
the Western suburbs of Sydney, and attended Bethlehem College Ashfield and the
University of Sydney. She worked as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald
for three years as a feature writer with a special interest in environmental
In 1982 she won the Greg Shackleton Australian News Correspondents scholarship to the journalism masters program at Columbia University in New York City. Later she worked for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans.
She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2006 for her novel March (2005), and her novel Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague (2001) is an international bestseller. Her novel People of the Book, was published in January 2008. She is also the author of the nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women (1995) and Foreign Correspondence: A Pen Pal's Journey from Down Under (1998).
Brooks married author Tony Horwitz in France, in 1984. Brooks lives with her family in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
Geraldine Brooks's website
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Two interviews with Geraldine Brooks about Year of Wonders and People of the Book.
A Conversation with Geraldine Brooks about People of the Book
Your previous two novels are set during Europe's plague years and the
American Civil War. Now, you've created an epic story about art and religious
persecution. What is it that draws you to a particular subject, or a particular
I love to find stories from the past where we can know something, but not everything; where there is enough of a historical record to have left us with an intriguing factual scaffolding, but where there are also enough unknowable voids in that record to allow room for imagination to work.
What do you think it is about the real Sarajevo Haggadah that has allowed it to survive the centuries?
It's a fascinating question: Why did this little book always find its protectors when so many others did not? It is interesting to me that the book was created in a periodconvivencia Spainwhen diversity was tolerated, even somewhat celebrated, and that it found its way centuries later to a similar place, Sarajevo. So even when hateful forces arose in those societies and crushed the spirit of multiethnic, ...
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