Geraldine Brooks biography

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Geraldine Brooks
Photo: Randi Baird

Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks Biography

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 issues.

In 1982 she won the Greg Shackleton Australian News Correspondents scholarship to the journalism master’s 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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Interview

In two separate interviews, Geraldine Brooks discusses Year of Wonders and People of the Book, and the difficulties of writing stories that blend fiction with historical fact, given her journalistic - just-the-facts background.

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 historical era?

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 period—convivencia Spain—when 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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Books by this Author

Books by Geraldine Brooks at BookBrowse
The Secret Chord jacket Caleb's Crossing jacket People of the Book jacket March jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Geraldine Brooks but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Peter Ackroyd

    Peter Ackroyd

    Novelist, biographer, and poet Peter Ackroyd was born in London on October 5, 1949.

    He graduated from Clare College, Cambridge, and studied at Yale University as a Mellon Fellow, where he completed Notes for a New Culture: ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    March

    Try:
    The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein
    by Peter Ackroyd

  • Rabih Alameddine

    Rabih Alameddine

    Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels Koolaids, I, the Divine, The Hakawati, An Unnecessary Woman and most recently, The Angel of History; also, the story collection, The Perv. He divides his time between San Francisco... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    People of the Book

    Try:
    The Hakawati
    by Rabih Alameddine

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