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, attending 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 Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans. In 1990, with her husband Tony Horwitz, she won the Overseas Press Club Award for best coverage of the Gulf War. The following year they received a citation for excellence for their series, "War and Peace." In 2006 she was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University. She returned to Harvard as a Visiting Lecturer in 2021.

She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2006 for her novel March. Her novels People of the Book, Caleb's Crossing and The Secret Chord all were New York Times Bestsellers. Her first novel, Year of Wonders is an an international bestseller, translated into more than 25 languages and currently optioned for a limited series by Olivia Coleman's production company. She is also the author of the nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire, Foreign Correspondence and The Idea of Home.

Brooks married fellow journalist and author Tony Horwitz in Tourette-sur-Loup France in 1984 and were together until his sudden death in 2019. They have two sons, Nathaniel and Bizu, She now lives with a dog named Bear and a mare named Valentine by an old mill pond on Martha's Vineyard and spends as much time as she can in Australia. In 2016, she was named an Officer in the Order of Australia.

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
Horse jacket The Secret Chord jacket Caleb's Crossing jacket People of the Book 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 An Unnecessary Woman; I, the Divine; Koolaids; The Hakawati; The Wrong End of the Telescope; and the story collection, The Perv. In 2019, he won the Dos Passos Prize. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    People of the Book

    Try:
    The Hakawati
    by Rabih Alameddine

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