A Pen Pal's Journey from Down Under to All Over
By Geraldine Brooks
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780385483735, 240pp.)
Publication Date: January 19, 1999
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As a young girl in a working-class neighborhood of Sydney, Australia, Geraldine Brooks longed to discover the places where history happens and culture comes from, so she enlisted pen pals who offered her a window on adolescence in the Middle East, Europe, and America. Twenty years later Brooks, an award-winning foreign correspondent, embarked on a human treasure hunt to find her pen friends. She found men and women whose lives had been shaped by war and hatred, by fame and notoriety, and by the ravages of mental illness. Intimate, moving, and often humorous, Foreign Correspondence speaks to the unquiet heart of every girl who has ever yearned to become a woman of the world.
Geraldine Brooks is also the author of Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women and a former foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, where she reported on wars and famines in the Middle East, Bosnia, and Africa. A native of Australia and a graduate of Sydney University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she currently lives in Virginia with her husband and young son.
"Geraldine Brooks' talent is unique: she combines the hardest-hitting reporting with a true writer's sensitivity and an empathy rare for anyone. In Foreign Correspondence she trains her lucid gaze on the turmoil of female adolescence and by doing so brings us a dazzling range of insights that extend beyond introspection to raise questions about national identity in an increasingly global culture."--Naomi Wolf, author of Promiscuities