Foreign Correspondence: A Pen Pal's Journey from Down Under by Geraldine Brooks

By Geraldine Brooks

As a tender woman in a working-class local of Sydney, Australia, Geraldine Brooks longed to find the locations the place background occurs and tradition comes from, so she enlisted pen friends who provided her a window on early life within the heart East, Europe, and the United States. two decades later Brooks, an award-winning overseas correspondent, launched into a human treasure hunt to discover her pen buddies. She came across women and men whose lives were formed by way of struggle and hatred, through reputation and notoriety, and by way of the ravages of psychological affliction. Intimate, relocating, and sometimes funny, Foreign Correspondence speaks to the unquiet center of each woman who has ever yearned to turn into a lady of the area.

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That year, when I was ten, we traveled back down to Skagway for a visit. Chuck, Heather, Molly, and I stayed with the Moores, the big family whose house I had been on my way to the day I tried to fly. During our visit, Mom and Dad took some friends mountain-goat hunting and trekking. Sometimes Dad guided in the summers and would take groups of travelers on the Chilkoot Trail, the same route used during the Klondike Gold Rush. One summer it was a Florida businessman named Tad Duke and a group of his friends.

The spirit of Alaska is unique, combining awe for the untamed majesty of nature, a rugged individualism, and strong traditions of mutual aid. People still come to Alaska seeking adventure and a chance to test their mettle in the wilderness. Good people like Chuck Heath. He arrived for the hunting and fishing but actually hit the trifecta: he got the adventure he yearned for and earned his master’s degree in education and got a pay raise to boot. The State of Alaska was paying a premium, $6,000 a year (more than twice what he was paid in Idaho), to attract more teachers.

Early in my political career, I would remember that lesson. When things went right under my administration’s leadership, sometimes I’d look around and wonder why no one but me was jumping with joy. ) In high school, I played basketball, my name next to number 22 on the varsity roster all four years. I mainly rode the bench during close games, until my senior year, because I played point guard behind a much stronger player, my sister Heather. Our team was made up of a group of best girlfriends, like Kim “Tilly” Ketchum and Karen Bush, who shared everything, including our faith.

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