Taking Louisa May Alcott's Little Women as her starting point, she tells the story of the girls' largely absent father and his involvement in the American Civil War. Brooks based much of the story on the journals and letters of Bronson Alcott, Louisa May's father, and was inspired to write the novel by the reminders of the war she saw around her when she moved to rural Virginia:
There were bullet holes in the bricks of the local church where a Civil War skirmish had taken place; a Union soldiers belt buckle was unearthed in our backyard. Thinking about the young man who had worn that buckle was the beginning, in my mind, of March.Brooks was born in 1955 in Sydney (she holds dual nationality) and began writing as a reporter on The Sydney Morning Herald. She later worked as a foreign correspondent, mostly for The Wall Street Journal, covering crises in the Middle East, Africa and Bosnia. She has written non-fiction, including Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Muslim Women. Her previous novel Year of Wonders, is set in 17th-century England, where the plague strikes a small village. It became an international bestseller
Much more about her here,and hear her in interview with Jane Holroyd at The Sydney Morning Herald.
It's been a great year for Australian writers with Kate Grenville winning the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.
Prequels, Sequels and More-quels (12/5/05)