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QUOTES BY Geraldine Brooks

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'I mean the beauty of being a writer is it's not like being a swimmer. When they were talking about our Olympic swimmers and they'd say, 'Oh she's so old,' and she's all of 25 or something. So the beauty for a writer is that you can keep doing it right int'


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'Sydney in the 1960s wasn't the exuberant multicultural metropolis it is today. Out in the city's western reaches, days passed in a sun-struck stupor. In the evenings, families gathered on their verandas waiting for the 'southerly buster' - the thunderstor'


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'There are always a few who stand up in times of communal madness and have the courage to say that what unites us is greater than what divides us.'


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'September 11, 2001, revealed heroism in ordinary people who might have gone through their lives never called upon to demonstrate the extent of their courage.'


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'Both my mum and dad were great readers, and we would go every Saturday morning to the library, and my sister and I had a library card when we could pass off something as a signature, and all of us would come with an armful of books.'


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'I knew I was going to be a journalist when I was eight years old and I saw the printing presses rolling at the Sydney newspaper where my dad worked as a proofreader.'


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'My mother's family were full-on Irish Catholics - faith in an elaborate old fashioned, highly conservative and madly baroque style. I sort of fell out of the tribe over women's rights and social justice issues when I was just 13 years old.'


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'The day in 2004 when the radiologist told me I had invasive cancer, I walked down the hospital corridor looking for a phone to call my husband, and I could almost see the fear coming toward me like a big, black shadow.'


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'Men can absent themselves from real life for their art more easily. Women are anchored into the quotidian business of getting food on the table, making sure everybody's socks match, the soccer gear is ready. I admire idealists, but they're usually enabled'


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'There's just so many great stories in the past that you can know a little bit about, but you can't know it all, and that's where imagination can work.'


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'The thing that most attracts me to historical fiction is taking the factual record as far as it is known, using that as scaffolding, and then letting imagination build the structure that fills in those things we can never find out for sure.'


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'Both my mum and dad were great readers, and we would go every Saturday morning to the library, and my sister and I had a library card when we could pass off something as a signature, and all of us would come with an armful of books.'


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'You can't write about the past and ignore religion. It was such a fundamental, mind-shaping, driving force for pre-modern societies. I'm very interested in what religion does to us - its capacity to create love and empathy or hatred and violence.'

 

 

 

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