Geraldine Brooks Watch #3


Bron Sibree in "The Courier-Mail":

Despite having written three historical novels, Brooks says she cannot fully explain her fascination with the past..."I liked history in school, but I was much more animated by politics, by the things that were really happening in society around me," she says...She likes too, to joke about her on-the-page attraction to men of the cloth -- "vicars, rabbis, imams, I don't know why" -- but insists she is not religious herself...She adopted the Jewish faith when she married fellow Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and author Tony Horwitz -- more, she says, out of a sense of obligation to history than to faith..."I'm very interested in all those big life-and-death questions, but haven't found answers to them in any spirit in the sky."
With each interview you read, a little more is exposed. Jessica Yadegaran talks to the author for "The Mercury News".
Geraldine Brooks wasn't born Jewish, but by age 14, she was obsessed with the religion, its people and plight...In fact, it was during the Six-Day War in 1967 that Brooks, who would go on to become a renowned foreign correspondent, first paid attention to the news. In high school, the Australian started wearing a Star of David on her Catholic school uniform. She schlepped around dog-eared copies of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. She penned a play about the Warsaw ghetto.
[See Update note below.] And beginnings are explained:
Geraldine Brooks knew she wanted to be a journalist when she encountered firsthand the meaning of the phrase "hot off the press" as a young girl in Sydney, Australia. But becoming a novelist -- a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, nonetheless -- happened more on a whim...Brooks' father was a proofreader for a newspaper and sometimes brought her to work with him. She said she still remembers feeling the building shake as deadline approached and touching the hot pages of the day's newspaper minutes before it was shipped throughout the city...Her father was a human rights advocate as well, always defending the underdog, Brooks said. Her mother nurtured and encouraged her imagination. Her whole family had a profound appreciation for books, she said..."For us," Brooks said, "books were in a special class of things, like food and school uniforms -- something we somehow found money
Brooks was also interviewed by "The BookGuys" for their radio program, and the interview is available for download for audio streaming.

[Update: checking back over this entry I noticed that one particular interview, that I quote from, contained no link, and it appears that the original is now no longer freely available on the web. At least I can't find it anywhere. So, I've removed the empty link, but will leave the quote as it stands. I didn't make it up, honest. Just wasn't as complete in my checking as I would have liked.]

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 26, 2008 4:28 PM.

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