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All Quotes by author - Geraldine Brooks
" And one of the things that I learned was you can't generalise at all about a woman in a veil. You can't think you know her story, because she will confound you over and over again. She may be an engineer or a diplomat or a doctor. Or she may be an unbelievable babe with bleached hair down to her waist. "
" And when I'd be reporting in Israel, Palestinians would say, the Jews they're not like us, and the Jews would say the same things about the Palestinians, they don't want what we want. And I never bought it as a reporter and I don't buy it as a novelist. I think, you know, the sound of somebody crying for their lost child sounds the same. "
" Because I worked as a newspaper reporter for about 14 years before attempting my first novel, I learned to write under almost any circumstances- by candle light, in longhand, in African villages where there was no power, under shelling in Kurdistan. "
" 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. "
" Both my parents loved words. That was the big deal in our house. "
" Certainly I'm still mining my experiences as a journalist. I think it's no coincidence that all three of my novels basically are about how people act in a time of catastrophe. Do they go to their best self or their worst self? "
" Even the classics that we read to our young children are full of wolves' fangs and burning ovens and bloody feet and ice shards piercing hearts. Even the New Testament climaxes with an act of unspeakable torture. Might as well just read to our kids from the Amnesty Annual Report and be done with it. "
" For most people, chemotherapy is no longer the chamber of horrors we often conceive it to be. Yes, it is an ordeal for some people, but it wasn't for me, nor for most of the patients I got to know during my four months of periodic visits to the chemo suite. "
" I can always write. Sometimes, to be sure, what I write is crap, but it's words on the page and therefore it is something to work with. "
" I'd gotten myself into a kind of journalism that wasn't really compatible with rearing an infant. I'd been a foreign correspondent for a long time and had this subspecialty in covering catastrophes. It had spoiled me a little because you have a tremendous amount of autonomy, and I couldn't really see being an editor in an office. "
" I do believe that our modern English usage has become way too clipped and austere. I have been reading excerpts from the journals of 18th-century seafarers lately, and even the lowliest press-ganged deck-swabber turns a finer phrase than I do most days. "
" If screenwriters have to kill off a female character, they love to give her cancer. We've seen so many great actresses go down to the Big C: Ali MacGraw, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Debra Winger, Susan Sarandon. "
" If somebody from the past doesn't rise up from the grave and start talking to me, I haven't got a book. I have to hear that voice, the voice of the narrator. How she sounds will tell me who she is, and who she is will tell me how she will act - and that starts the plot in motion. "
" If you look at an illuminated manuscript, even today, it just blows your mind. For them, without all the clutter and inputs that we have, it must have been even more extraordinary. "
" I had been afraid of breast cancer, as I suspect most women are, from the time I hit adolescence. At that age, when our emerging sexuality is our central preoccupation, the idea of disfigurement of a breast is particularly horrifying. "
" I had this story that had been banging around in my head and I thought, 'I'll just see if there's anything there.' So I wrote a few chapters of the book that became 'Year of Wonders,' and lucky for me it found its readers. "
" 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. "
" I loved being away from school. I didn't really fancy school that much when I was little; it wasn't until I was in third or fourth grade that I really settled down at school and I was much happier at home with my mum and she was very creative and sort of fostered all my interests. "
" I'm a praying atheist. When I hear an ambulance siren, I ask for a blessing for those people in trouble, knowing that no one's listening. I think it's just a habit of mindfulness. "
" I'm very, very leery of nonfiction books where they change timeframes and use - what do they call those things? - composite characters. I don't think that's right. "
" I swim in a sea of words. They flow around me and through me and, by a process that is not fully clear to me, some delicate hidden membrane draws forth the stuff that is the necessary condition of my life. "
" I think I'm still chewing on my years as a foreign correspondent. I found myself covering catastrophes - war, uprising, famine, refugee crises - and witnessing how people were affected by dire situations. When I find a story from the past, I bring some of those lessons to bear on the narrative. "
" I think probably the scaredest I've ever been was in Somalia. I arrived there when the episode that became known as 'Black Hawk Down' was still taking place. The Americans were still pinned down under fire. And everybody else was basically going the other way, and I was the only one putting my hand up for a flight in. "
" I think that you can honour the sacrifices of a common soldier without glorifying war. "
" It is my great good luck the words I use are English words, which means I live in a very old nation of open borders; a rich, deep, multi-layered, promiscuous universe, infused with Latin, German, French, Greek, Arabic and countless other tongues. "
" I was a news reporter for 16 years, seven of them a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. Perhaps the most useful equipment I acquired in that time is a lack of preciousness about the act of writing. A reporter must write. There must be a story. The mot juste unarriving? Tell that to your desk. "
" I was a pretty delicate kid. Anything that was going around I'd get it and I'd generally get it much worse than other people, so I spent a lot of time out of school. "
" I was so shy. I used to cross the street so I wouldn't even have to talk to my relatives, much less strangers. That's not shy, that's wise. But I found that that when you had a journalist's notebook in your hand it wasn't really you, you see. "
" I write while my son is at school. At about 7:45 A.M., I walk him there, with the dogs, then walk them for another forty minutes or so, go home and chain myself to the desk a little before 9 A.M., and try not to be distracted until I hear my son plunge through the front door at about 3 P.M. "
" Jewish prayers are mostly about daily things - the sliver of a new moon, dew on the grass, the bread and the wine. "
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