Books by Geraldine
A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history.
An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an itinerant young artist who has made his name on paintings of the racehorse takes up arms for the Union.
On a perilous night, he reunites with the stallion and his groom, very far from the glamor of any racetrack.
New York City, 1954
Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.
Washington, DC, 2019
Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse—one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success. Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred, Lexington, who became America’s greatest stud sire, Horse is a gripping, multi-layered reckoning with the legacy of enslavement and racism in America.
A rich and utterly absorbing novel about the life of King David, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of People of the Book and March
With more than two million copies of her novels sold, New York Times bestselling author Geraldine Brooks has achieved both popular and critical acclaim. Now, Brooks takes on one of literature’s richest and most enigmatic figures: a man who shimmers between history and legend. Peeling away the myth to bring David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.
The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of David’s life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected. We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him—from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Brooks has an uncanny ability to hear and transform characters from history, and this beautifully written, unvarnished saga of faith, desire, family, ambition, betrayal, and power will enthrall her many fans.
“In her gorgeously written novel of ambition, courage, retribution, and triumph, Brooks imagines the life and character of King David…The language, clear and precise throughout, turns soaringly poetic when
describing music or the glory of David’s city…the novel feels simultaneously ancient, accessible, and timeless.” –Booklist-starred review
“What Mary Renault did with Alexander the Great, Geraldine Brooks has done with King David: breathed life into an ancient hero. Haunting, exciting and as satisfying in structure as a completed Rubik’s Cube.” — Tom Holland
“Brooks evokes times and place with keenly drawn detail. . .with the verve of an adroit storyteller. . .Ambitious and psychologically astute.” — Publisher’s Weekly
“Brooks continues to explore the meaning of faith and religion in ordinary life. . .she skillfully retells David’s story through the eyes of Natan. . .Of just as much interest as Brooks’ view of the politically astute lion in winter are her portraits of characters who are somewhat thinly fleshed in their biblical accounts, such as Batsheva, Yoav, Avner, even Avshalom. A skillful reimaging gracefully and intelligently told.” – Kirkus Reviews
“CALEB’S CROSSING” could not be more enlightening and involving. Beautifully written from beginning to end, it reconfirms Geraldine Brooks’s reputation as one of our most supple and involving novelists.” —JANE SMILEY, The New York Times Book Review
A richly imagined new novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller, People of the Book.Once again, Geraldine Brooks takes a remarkable shard of history and brings it to vivid life. In 1665, a young man from Martha’s Vineyard became the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Upon this slender factual scaffold, Brooks has created a luminous tale of love and faith, magic and adventure.
The narrator of Caleb’s Crossing is Bethia Mayfield, growing up in the tiny settlement of Great Harbor amid a small band of pioneers and Puritans. Restless and curious, she yearns after an education that is closed to her by her sex. As often as she can, she slips away to explore the island’s glistening beaches and observe its native Wampanoag inhabitants.
At twelve, she encounters Caleb, the young son of a chieftain, and the two forge a tentative secret friendship that draws each into the alien world of the other. Bethia’s minister father tries to convert the Wampanoag, awakening the wrath of the tribe’s shaman, against whose magic he must test his own beliefs. One of his projects becomes the education of Caleb, and a year later, Caleb is in Cambridge, studying Latin and Greek among the colonial elite. There, Bethia finds herself reluctantly indentured as a housekeeper and can closely observe Caleb’s crossing of cultures.
Like Brooks’s beloved narrator Anna in Year of Wonders, Bethia proves an emotionally irresistible guide to the wilds of Martha’s Vineyard and the intimate spaces of the human heart. Evocative and utterly absorbing, Caleb’s Crossingfurther establishes Brooks’s place as one of our most acclaimed novelists.
“Brooks filters the early colonial era through the eyes of a minister’s daughter growing up on the island known today as Martha’s Vineyard…[Bethia’s] voice – rendered by Brooks with exacting attention to the language and rhythm of the seventeenth century – is captivatingly true to her time.” —The New Yorker
“A dazzling act of the imagination. . .Brooks takes the few known facts about the real Caleb, and builds them into a beautifully realized and thoroughly readable tale…this is intimate historical fiction, observing even the most acute sufferings and smallest heroic gestures in the context of major events.” —Matthew Gilbert,The Boston Globe
“In Bethia, Geraldine Brooks has created a multidimensional, inspiring yet unpredictable character…Bethia’s forbearance, her quiet insistence, the way she creates her life using the best of whatever is handed to her, puts the struggles of American women today in perspective.” —Susan Salter Reynolds, The Los Angeles Times
“Original and compelling. . .[Brooks’ characters] struggle every waking moment with spiritual questions that are as real and unending as the punishing New England winters.”—Paul Chaat Smith, The Washington Post
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of March, the journey of a rare illuminated manuscript through centuries of exile and war
In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—she begins to unlock the book’s mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book’s journey from its salvation back to its creation.
In Bosnia during World War II, a Muslim risks his life to protect it from the Nazis. In the hedonistic salons of fin-de-siècle Vienna, the book becomes a pawn in the struggle against the city’s rising anti-Semitism. In inquisition-era Venice, a Catholic priest saves it from burning. In Barcelona in 1492, the scribe who wrote the text sees his family destroyed by the agonies of enforced exile. And in Seville in 1480, the reason for the Haggadah’s extraordinary illuminations is finally disclosed. Hanna’s investigation unexpectedly plunges her into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics. Her experiences will test her belief in herself and the man she has come to love.
Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is at once a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity, an ambitious, electrifying work by an acclaimed and beloved author.
“Less flash and more substance than The Da Vinci Code . . . The stories of the Sarajevo Haggadah, both factual and fictional, are stirring testaments to the people of many faiths who risked all to save this priceless work.”
– USA Today
“As full of heart and curiosity as it is intelligence and judgment.”
–The Boston Globe
“Intelligent, thoughtful, gracefully written and original.”
-Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
“Erudite but suspenseful . . . one of the most popular and successful works of fiction in the New Year.”
-Alan Cheuse, NPR / “All Things Considered”
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize–a powerful love story set against the backdrop of the Civil War, from the author of The Secret Chord, coming from Viking in October 2015
From Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has animated the character of the absent father, March, and crafted a story “filled with the ache of love and marriage and with the power of war upon the mind and heart of one unforgettable man” (Sue Monk Kidd). With “pitch-perfect writing” (USA Today), Brooks follows March as he leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause in the Civil War. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. A lushly written, wholly original tale steeped in the details of another time, March secures Geraldine Brooks’s place as a renowned author of historical fiction.
“Brilliant…Geraldine Brooks’ new novel, March, is a very great book….Brooks has magnificently wielded the novelist’s license.”—Beth Kephart, Chicago Tribune
“A beautifully wrought story….Gripping….A taut plot, vivid characters and provocative issues.”—Heller McAlpin, Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Honorable, elegant and true.”—John Freeman, The Wall Street Journal
“Harrowing and moving…In her previous book, Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks proved herself to be a wonderful novelist. March has all the same virtues…casting a spell that lasts much longer than the reading of it.”—Karen Joy Fowler, The Washington Post World
“Wholly original…deeply engaging.”—Ron Charles, The Christian Science Monitor
“Inspired… A disturbing, supple, and deeply satisfying story, put together with craft and care and imagery worthy of a poet.”—The Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Louisa May Alcott would be well pleased.”—The Economist
“YEAR OF WONDERS carries absolute conviction as an evocation of place and mood. It has a vivid imaginative truth, and is beautifully written.” – HILARY MANTEL
“One of the first classics of the twenty-first century.”–Frye Gaillard, The Books that Mattered
When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna’s eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a “year of wonders.”
Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged hill country of England, Year of Wonders is a richly detailed evocation of a singular moment in history. Written with stunning emotional intelligence and introducing “an inspiring heroine” (The Wall Street Journal), Brooks blends love and learning, loss and renewal into a spellbinding and unforgettable read.
“The novel glitters . . . A deep imaginative engagement with how people are changed by catastrophe.” —The New Yorker
“Year of Wonders is a vividly imagined and strangely consoling tale of hope in a time of despair.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Brooks proves a gifted storyteller as she subtly reveals how ignorance, hatred and mistrust can be as deadly as any virus. . . . Year of Wonders is itself a wonder.” —People
“A glimpse into the strangeness of history that simultaneously enables us to see a reflection of ourselves.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Elegant and engaging.” —Arthur Golden
“Year of Wonders has it all: strong characters, a tremendous sense of time and place, a clearly defined heroine and a dastardly villain.” —The Denver Post
As a prizewinning foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Geraldine Brooks spent six years covering the Middle East through wars, insurrections, and the volcanic upheaval of resurgent fundamentalism. Yet for her, headline events were only the backdrop to a less obvious but more enduring drama: the daily life of Muslim women.
Nine Parts of Desire is the story of Brooks’s intrepid journey toward an understanding of the women behind the veils, and of the often contradictory political, religious, and cultural forces that shape their lives. Defying our stereotypes about the Muslim world, Brooks’s acute analysis of the world’s fastest growing religion deftly illustrates how Islam’s holiest texts have been misused to justify repression of women, and how male pride and power have warped the original message of a once liberating faith.
“Frank, enraging, and captivating.”
—The New Yorker
“Powerful and enlightening…Brooks presents stunning vignettes of Muslim women…and carefully distinguishes misogyny and oppressive cultural traditions from what she considers the true teachings of the Koran.”
“There has been nothing finer on the subject from a Western observer…she looks at it from the heart…mixing historical perspective with piercingly observed journalism.”
“Avoids both the sensational and the stereotypical…insightful…a valid, entertaining account of women in the Muslim world.”
—New York Times Book Review
“A rare look at a significant segment of the world’s population that literally has been cloaked in mystery for generations.”
From adolescent pen pal in the suburbs of Australia to prize-winning foreign correspondent, Geraldine Brooks presents an intimate and captivating memoir. Born on Bland Street in a working-class neighborhood of Sydney, Australia, Geraldine Brooks longs to discover the vivid place where history happens and culture comes from. As a means of escaping the world around her, she enlists pen pals from around the globe who offer her a window on the hazards of adolescence in the Middle East, Europe, and America. With the aid of her letters, Brooks turns her bedroom into the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, the barricades of Parisian student protests, the swampy fields of an embattled kibbutz.
Brooks goes from the protected environment of a Catholic girls school to the University of Sydney, eventually renting her own flat near the bustling Sydney harbor. She hires on as an intern at The Sydney Morning Herald and then wins a scholarship to the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York City, where she begins her career as a foreign correspondent.
As a writer for The Wall Street Journal, Brooks reports on wars and famines in the Middle East, Bosnia, and Africa, but she never forgets her earlier foreign correspondence. Back in Australia to attend her dying father, she stumbles on her old letters in her parents’ basement, and embarks on a journey that tales her around the world on the most meaningful assignment of her career. Her search leads her through Israeli moshavim, Arab souks, medieval French hill towns, Martha’s Vineyard fishing shacks, and Manhattan nightclubs. One by one, she finds men and women whose lives have been shaped by war and hatred, by fame and notoriety, and by the ravages of a mysterious and tragic mental illness.
It is only from the distance of foreign lands and against the background of alien lives that Brooks finally sees her homeland and her own life clearly. Candid, thoughtful, and compelling, Foreign Correspondence speaks to the unquiet heart of every girl who has ever yearned to become a woman of the world.
“Geraldine Brooks’ talent is unique: she combines the hardest-hitting reporting with a true writer’s sensitivity and an empathy rare for anyone. In Foreign Correspondence she trains her lucid gaze on the turmoil of female adolescence and by doing so brings us a dazzling range of insights that extend beyond introspection to raise questions about national identity in an increasingly global culture.”–Naomi Wolf, author of Promiscuities
Geraldine Brooks is the author of three works of non-fiction. Her first book, Nine Parts of Desire, is a rich and riveting account of her six years living among the women of the Muslim mideast. Foreign Correspondence is a memoir of an Australian childhood enriched by penpals from around the globe, and her adult quest to find them. The Idea of Home:Boyer Lectures 2011 is a series of four lectures distilling her experiences as an environmentalist, foreign correspondent and novelist.
Each year since 1959, Australia’s national broadcaster invites a prominent Australian to reflect on major issues in a series of radio talks. In her series of four lectures, published by ABC Books, Geraldine Brooks considers the layered meanings of “home.” The first lecture, Our Only Home, is a plea for Australia to exercise its potential, as custodian of a huge landmass and a critical share of the world’s oceans, to become a leader in the fight to combat climate change. The final lecture, A Home in Fiction, unfurls her thinking on the art of the novel.
The book is available in Australian bookstores and in the United States via Amazon.