Thursday, June 09, 2011

Geraldine Brooks's favorite historical fiction

Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, and attended 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, and later for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2006 for her novel March. Her first novel, Year of Wonders, is an international bestseller, and People of the Book is a New York Times bestseller translated into 20 languages.

Her latest novel is Caleb’s Crossing.

One of her favorite works of historical fiction, as told to The Daily Beast:
The Persian Boy
by Mary Renault

This is my North Star of historical fiction. For the centerpiece of her Alexander trilogy, Renault takes as her narrator a shadowy and intriguing figure from the conqueror's entourage: the Persian eunuch who traveled with him through the years of his expansive military campaigns. With erudition and verve, Renault brings the ancient world alive, deftly placing the reader in a time of different ethics, morals, beliefs. Yet at the center of her storytelling lies the core belief that the human heart, in its essence, does not change, and that the most powerful emotions—love, hate, ambition, tenderness—ruled us then and rule us still.
Read about another novel on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue