The awarding of the Order of Australia to Geraldine Brooks as part of the national Australia Day celebrations this week was a fitting start to the new year for one of the country’s internationally celebrated authors. She received the OA not just for her writing but also her work as Ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation which aims to put books in the hands of indigenous children in remote areas.
The comes as Brooks enjoys great critical acclaim for her latest book The Secret Chord, a rich reinterpretation of the life of one of the most famous historical characters. If King David were alive today he would be a superstar of the political world. A slayer of giants (real and metaphorical), the second King of the Jews. Admired and feared. A unifier and a divisive force. Modest yet carelessly arrogant. Sympathetic yet cruel. A character who looms large over the foundation period of religious history.