Growing up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, Geraldine Brooks established pen pals across the world (an experience that contributed to her memoir Foreign Correspondence). Following her secondary education in a Roman Catholic school Brooks graduated from the University of Sydney and then worked for the Sydney Morning Herald. After completing a Master's Degree in journalism at Columbia University, USA, in 1983, Brooks became a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal reporting on events in the Middle East, Somalia and Bosnia.
Among her awards Brooks has received a Korn Ferry Award (1994), a Columbia University Distinguished Alumni Award (1993) and an Overseas Press Club award (1990). From 1996-1998 she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. In addition to her work with the Wall Street Journal, Brooks has contributed to several major USA publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post and Harper's Bazaar.
Brooks divides her time between homes in Sydney, Australia and Virginia, USA. Following a change in Australian law in 2002 Brooks took up dual Australian-USA citizenship.
On 30 May 2011 it was announced that Brooks would present the 52nd Boyer Lectures, entitled 'At Home in the World', in November 2011.
'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.' (Publication summary)
'In 1665, Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck was the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College. Here, Pulitzer Prize winner Brooks imagines that Caleb was befriended by Bethia Mayfield, whose minister father wants to convert the neighboring Wampanoag and makes educating Caleb one of his goals. Bethia, herself desperate for book learning, ends up as an indentured servant in Cambridge, watching Caleb bridge two cultures.'
People of the Book2008single work novel historical fiction 'When Hannah Heath gets a call in the middle of the night in her Sydney home about a precious medieval manuscript which has been recovered from the smouldering ruins of war-torn Sarajevo, she knows she is on the brink of the experience of a lifetime. A renowned book conservator, she must now make her way to Bosnia to start work on restoring The Sarajevo Haggadah, a Jewish prayer book - to discover its secrets and piece together the story of its miraculous survival. But the trip will also set in motion a series of events that threaten to rock Hannah's orderly life, including her encounter with Ozren Karamen, the young librarian who risked his life to save the book.' (Publisher's blurb)