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  • Hachette Australia

Memorial Days

Geraldine Brooks

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Memoirs

A heartrending and beautiful memoir of sudden loss and a journey toward peace, from the bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Horse

Many cultural and religious traditions expect those who are grieving to step away from the world. In contemporary life, we are more often met with red tape and to-do lists. This is exactly what happened to Geraldine Brooks when her partner of more than three decades, Tony Horwitz - just sixty years old and, to her knowledge, vigorous and healthy - collapsed and died on a Washington, DC street.

After spending their early years together in conflict zones as foreign correspondents, and living in Sydney, Geraldine and Tony settled down to raise two boys on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. The life they built was one of meaningful work, good humour, and tenderness, as they spent their days writing and their evenings cooking family dinners or watching the sun set with friends. But all of this came to an abrupt end when, on the US Memorial Day public holiday of 2019, Geraldine received the phone call we all dread. The demands were immediate and many. Without space to grieve, t he sudden loss became a yawning gulf.

Three years later, she booked a flight to remote Flinders Island off the coast of Tasmania with the intention of finally giving herself the time to mourn. In a shack on the island's pristine, rugged coast she often went days without seeing another person. There, she pondered the various ways in which cultures grieve, and what rituals of her own might help to rebuild a life around the void of Tony's death.

A spare and profoundly moving memoir that joins the classics of the genre, Memorial Days is a portrait of a larger-than-life man and a timeless love between souls that exquisitely captures the joy, agony and mystery of life.

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A reading from 'The Secret Chord' with Geraldine Brooks

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Geraldine Brooks - Hello and see you all soon!

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A reading from 'The Secret Chord' with Geraldine Brooks

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Geraldine Brooks - Hello and see you all soon!

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Geraldine Brooks

Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in Sydney's western suburbs. She worked for the Sydney Morning Herald and in 1982 she won the Greg Shackleton scholarship to the journalism master's program at Columbia University. Later she worked for the Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. In 2006 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for her novel March. Her novels Caleb's Crossing, People of the Book and The Secret Chord were New York Times bestsellers, and Year of Wonders was an international bestseller, translated into more than 25 languages. She is also the author of the acclaimed non-fiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Her novel Horse was the winner of the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year Award and Fiction Indie Book Award for 2023, the 88th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for 2023, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction and was shortlisted for the ARA Historical Novel Prize 2022 and the BookPeople Adult Fiction Book of the Year 2023. In 2011 she presented Australia's prestigious Boyer Lectures, later published as The Idea of Home. In 2016 she was appointed Officer in the Order of Australia for her services to literature. Geraldine Brooks divides her time between Sydney and Massachusetts and has two sons.

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