Library Group to Discuss Year of Wonders

June 2, 2011 // Filed under Uncategorized

Year of Wonders: a novel of the plague (2001) will be discussed this Saturday, June 4th, at the Saturday Samplers book group meeting to be held at 3:30 p.m.  Saturday Samplers is a Bernardsville Library open-invitation book group led by staff member Evelyn Fischel.  Please feel welcome to attend.

Geraldine Brooks, author of Year of Wonders, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist.  Brooks grew up outside of Sydney, Australia, and resides there today with her family. She is a graduate of the University of Sydney and reported for a Sydney newspaper in the early part of her career. After attending a master’s program at Columbia University, she also worked for The Wall Street Journal.

Her writing demonstrates a wide-ranging interest in historical and cultural topics of an international scope. Among her books are Nine Parts of Desire: the hidden world of Islamic women, the 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel March, as well as People of the Book, a fictional piece based on the history of the Sarajevo Haggadah. The latest novel, Caleb’s Crossing, has just been published to excellent reviews and concerns the interplay of cultures, Native American and English, during the American colonial period.

Year of Wonders: a novel of the plague earned high praise for Brooks from many quarters.  The book recounts in fiction a true and tragic period in English history centering on a real town which faced a virulent outbreak of the plague.  Approximately four-fifths of the populace of the small English town of Eyam died during this outbreak in 1666, but the townspeople are remembered to this day for the extraordinary sacrifice they collectively made under the leadership of their local rector.  Brooks employs a somber and lyrical tone along with a memorable narrator to do justice to this spellbinding story.

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