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Geraldine Brooks

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author


As many children do, Geraldine Brooks grew up devouring tales from faraway lands, replete with landscapes and monuments foreign to her own suburban Sydney home. Her books' settings were hardly fictional however: The Wind in the Willows and The Secret Garden take place in a very real but distant world - England. "They were good books, but they came between me and my country," Brooks says. "Australia had been an independent nation since 1901, but in the 1960s, my imagination was still a British colony."

Though she originally planned on composing a great Australian novel, instead she has produced a large body of international bestsellers whose characters and themes transcend geographic boundaries. Her first novel, the international bestseller Year of Wonders, follows a young woman's battle to save her family and her soul from the plague in a small Derbyshire village in 1666. People of the Book is an intricate, ambitious novel that traces the journey of a rare illuminated Hebrew manuscript from Convivencia Spain to the ruins of Sarajevo, from the Silver Age of Venice to the sunburned rock faces of northern Australia. The Pulitzer Prize-winning and internationally best-selling novel March retells Louisa May Alcott's beloved classic Little Women from the point of view of "Mr. March," the absent father who goes off to war. Her most recent bestseller, Caleb's Crossing, takes place in 1665 Martha's Vineyard and centers on a forbidden friendship.

In her keynotes, Geraldine Brooks shares her insights into "The Writing Life" - the title of a Washington Post article of hers on her desire to write about her native Australia - with audiences throughout the world. She explains that in order to write about - or simply understand - one's native country or culture, one must approach it like a foreigner in order to reap all of its richness.

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The Writing Life

People of the Book

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