AUTHOR | Geraldine Brooks
Australian-born Geraldine Brooks graduated from the University of Sydney and was a local reporter before earning an MS degree in journalism from Columbia in 1983. As a journalist for the Wall Street Journal, she and her husband, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tony Horwitz, covered conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans, and jointly won the Overseas Press Club Award in 1990 for best coverage of the Gulf War and a citation for excellence in 1991 for their series, “War and Peace.”
In 1994, Brooks published her first nonfiction book, Nine Parts of Desire. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2006 for her historical novel March. Brooks’ novels People of the Book, Caleb’s Crossing, and The Secret Chord all were New York Times Best Sellers and her first work of fiction, Year of Wonders, is an international bestseller. She is also the author of two other nonfiction works: Foreign Correspondence and The Idea of Home.
Brooks married Tony Horwitz in France in 1984 and converted to Judaism; they were together until his sudden death in 2019 and have two sons, Nathaniel and Bizu. She now lives with a dog named Bear and a mare named Valentine by an old mill pond on Martha’s Vineyard and spends as much time as she can in Australia. This leader in literature will be making her second appearance at the Literary Society of the Southwest.
Online resources: http://geraldinebrooks.com/geraldine-brooks/
This is a fascinating and engaging novel which unravels the story of Lexington, the greatest racehorse and sire of all time, against the historical backdrop of enslaved Black horsemen. A young enslaved groom named Jarrett bonds with this magnificent antebellum horse from birth and eventually becomes his trainer and protector. This compelling storyline alternates with two others: that of an itinerant young artist who makes his name on paintings of the racehorse and takes up arms for the Union during the Civil War, and that of a present-day Smithsonian researcher specializing in animal bones and structures. Brooks has crafted a very well researched book into equestrian practices, anatomy, photography, art history, and enslavement from before the Civil War up to today. She uses equestrian art as a link to bring together the horse racing world with art history, the science of natural history and the evolution of racism in the US, Canada and Europe. Brooks, an avid equestrian, lets her love of the animal shine through in her moving descriptions of Lexington and his bond with Jarrett. Readers couldn’t put this book down, as Brooks did a great job creating this story with rich detail that pulls you into her imagination where important bits of history are brought to life.