Interview in The Australian

Below is a short excerpt from Geraldine’s interview. You can read the full article here.

When Brooks, who had been living in Virginia, moved to Martha’s Vineyard in 2006, she started reading about the island’s history. She learned that the first Native American graduate of Harvard University, across the Nantucket Sound in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was a local: Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk, class of 65.

“My mind jumped to what I knew, the civil rights era, the 1960s, and I wondered if I would bump into this Caleb at the local market,” she says. She missed him by three centuries: Caleb graduated in 1665, just three decades after Harvard was established, when Cambridge was, as Brooks puts it in the novel, “an unlovely town” where “the air reeks” and the ground was covered in “steaming piles of clutter and muck”. The settlers may have been Puritans, but they weren’t clean.”



10 comments


  • Carrie

    I am so excited to read Caleb’s Crossing! I have read Brook’s other novels and they were excellent.

    April 28, 2011
  • Cheryl Richards

    I belong to a wonderful year old book club and want to pitch your book to read as my brother, David Nathans, is the Director of the Vineyard Historical Museum and has offered his house if all 10 of us want to read an island authored book and visit. Are you available for a talk or do you have any scheduled at Bunch of Grapes or the town hall or could we visit sites on island showcased in the book? Just a thought for the fall of 2011. Thanks for any input.

    May 2, 2011
    • Dear Cheryl,
      I will be doing some island events next spring and summer. I will post them on this website’s event page very soon…

      December 12, 2011
  • Margaret

    Just finished reading Caleb’s Crossing and I didn’t want it to end.

    June 6, 2011
  • Anthoula Paraskeva

    Just read People of the book in a week could not put it down. One of the best books I have read in a long time. I was introduced to the author by my daughter & am lookig forward to reading more of her books. Great Ausie author- congratulations.

    August 28, 2011
  • Vonnie Fulmer

    I am trying to locate some discussion questions for my October bookclub meeting. We meet in Chapin, SC, USA.
    Are there any available? Any help would be appreciated.

    I was trying to find a dictionary that might have some of the words used, i.e. salvages for savages. I have my Grandparents 1868 Websters but the definitions had changed over 200 years.
    Thank you for your time and for your talent.
    Vonnie Fulmer

    October 1, 2011
    • The readers guide will be out next May. Many of the unusual words and usages are taken from 17th Century documents, especially early Vineyard writings, and so are perhaps more local than you would find in a dictionary.

      December 12, 2011
  • anne-marie cullinan

    I do a lot of travel and retain my sanity spend many hours listening to audio books. Calebs crossing and now People of the book have had me reaching my destination and not wanting to get out of the car, I have been so engrossed in the stories! Thankyou so much for such informative and engaging writing. Looking forward to your next book.

    February 2, 2012
  • Barbara Maybruch

    Our bookclub in Gush Etzion, Israel is reviewing your wonderful book Caleb’s Crossing. Could you tell me why you chose the names Bethia and Caleb? According to the commentaries on Chonicles I chapter 4, Bethia, Pharoh’s daughter married Caleb, who was called Mered, which means rebel in Hebrew. She rebelled against the Egyptian paganism and converted to Judaism. Caleb rebelled against the counsel of the spies. Bethia means Daughter of G-d. Apparently daughters of Pharoahs were called Bethia. A number of years ago a burial site of the sons of Ramses II was found, while workers were excavating to build a parking lot near the pyramid. One grave was that of his daughter called Bintya, Daughter of God. I just thought this would interest you.
    Thank you for writing such a lovely book.
    Barbara Maybruch

    December 12, 2012
  • Julie

    What a memorable read. I read this novel over the Easter break and could not put it down, I am now looking forward to reading all your other writings. Thanku.

    April 3, 2013

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