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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Pulitzer Prize Winner, Geraldine Brooks, visits A&M

Pulitzer Prize winner and renowned journalist Geraldine Brooks came to Texas A&M Tuesday evening to share stories about her life.
Brooks main focus of coming was to speak about one of her latest works, “March.”
“I’ve read it twice,” said College Station local Libby Vastano. “I found [it] fascinating, and historically accurate. It’s really a story of Mr. Alcott and his wife, from Little Women, if you’ve read Little Women.”
Brooks spoke at the Bush School to an audience that included local high schools to Texas A&M University faculty, recalling moments in her life where writing changed her.
English junior Shelbi LeMeilleur said she came to Brooks’ event to learn how to jumpstart her own writing career.
“Our professor recommended that we come just to kind of see how a professional does it, as an active listening exercise for us to see where is the book reading more detailed, what draws our attention, stuff like that,” LeMeilleur said. “It helps us with our writing.”
Brooks talked about the course of career, which started with journalism. Brooks originally worked as a news reporter in her hometown of Sydney, Australia, where she gained interest in environmental issues.
“My ambition was to be a newspaper reporter in the city of my birth. I tried to write stories that helped people, and perhaps every so often an article might right a local wrong, or even shift policy a few degrees in a more progressive direction,” Brooks said. “But generally, my stories would be useful simply by offering an entertaining read, and then the next day they’d end up lining the floor of the rabbit cage.”
Geraldine said from her job at “The Sydney Morning Herald” she went on to work at the Wall Street Journal. Her knowledge of the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East led her on several expeditions searching for stories.
After being deported from the Nigeria due to conflicts and wars, Brooks said she settled down and decided to begin writing novels.
“I got thrown in the slammer in Nigeria when I was reporting about Shell Oil being in cahoots with the brutal military dictatorship that was in power at the time, and Shell had asked the military to come in and fire on some unarmed [citizens] who were protesting Shell’s despoliation of their farmland,” Brooks said. “I went to the military to get their side of the story, and that didn’t go so well.”
After returning home to Austrailia, Brooks wrote “Nine Parts of Desire” in 1994, addressing the lives of Muslim women in the Middle East.
Brooks later wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “March” in 2005 from the comfort of Virginia, which she signed copies of Tuesday. 

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