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People of the Book

A Novel

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The bestselling novel that follows a rare manuscript through centuries of exile and war, from the author of The Secret Chord and of March, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity by an acclaimed and beloved author. Called “a tour de force” by the San Francisco Chronicle, this ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in fifteenth-century Spain. When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this priceless work, the series of tiny artifacts she discovers in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—only begin to unlock its deep mysteries and unexpectedly plunges Hanna into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultranationalist fanatics.
  • WINNER
    DUBLIN Literary Award
  • WINNER
    Mary Shelly Award
  • WINNER
    School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  • WINNER
    New England Book Award for Fiction
  • WINNER
    Library of Vermont Literary Award Finalist
  • NOMINEE
    Indies Choice Book Award
  • FINALIST
    Harold U. Ribalow Prize
Praise for People of the Book:

“There’s romance between Brooks and the world, and her writing is as full of heart and curiosity as it is intelligence and judgement.”
The Boston Globe

“Intelligent, thoughtful, gracefully written, and original . . . Brooks tells a believable and engaging story.”
The Washington Post

“Intense, gripping . . . People of the Book, like her Pulitzer Prize–winning previous novel March, is a tour de force that delivers a reverberating lesson gleaned from history. . . . It’s a brilliant, innately suspenseful structure, and one that allows Brooks to show off her remarkable aptitude for assimilating research and conveying a wide range of settings. Also on full display is her keen sense of dramatic pacing.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“[A] marvelously intertwined narrative, with one strand tied to the contemporary world and the other leading us back into European history, into wars and inquisitions and family tragedies, all of this making up avidly narrated, powerfully emotional quest.”
The Dallas Morning News

“Richly imagined and at times almost unbearably exciting. . . . An ambitious book, a pleasure to read, and wholly successful in its attempt to give a sense of how miraculous, unlikely, and ultimately binding the history of objects can be.”
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
© Randi Baird
Geraldine Brooks is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel March and the international bestsellers Caleb’s Crossing, People of the Book, and Year of Wonders. She has also written the acclaimed nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Born and raised in Australia, Brooks lives in Massachusetts. View titles by Geraldine Brooks

About

The bestselling novel that follows a rare manuscript through centuries of exile and war, from the author of The Secret Chord and of March, winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity by an acclaimed and beloved author. Called “a tour de force” by the San Francisco Chronicle, this ambitious, electrifying work traces the harrowing journey of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, a beautifully illuminated Hebrew manuscript created in fifteenth-century Spain. When it falls to Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, to conserve this priceless work, the series of tiny artifacts she discovers in its ancient binding—an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair—only begin to unlock its deep mysteries and unexpectedly plunges Hanna into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultranationalist fanatics.

Awards

  • WINNER
    DUBLIN Literary Award
  • WINNER
    Mary Shelly Award
  • WINNER
    School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
  • WINNER
    New England Book Award for Fiction
  • WINNER
    Library of Vermont Literary Award Finalist
  • NOMINEE
    Indies Choice Book Award
  • FINALIST
    Harold U. Ribalow Prize

Praise

Praise for People of the Book:

“There’s romance between Brooks and the world, and her writing is as full of heart and curiosity as it is intelligence and judgement.”
The Boston Globe

“Intelligent, thoughtful, gracefully written, and original . . . Brooks tells a believable and engaging story.”
The Washington Post

“Intense, gripping . . . People of the Book, like her Pulitzer Prize–winning previous novel March, is a tour de force that delivers a reverberating lesson gleaned from history. . . . It’s a brilliant, innately suspenseful structure, and one that allows Brooks to show off her remarkable aptitude for assimilating research and conveying a wide range of settings. Also on full display is her keen sense of dramatic pacing.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“[A] marvelously intertwined narrative, with one strand tied to the contemporary world and the other leading us back into European history, into wars and inquisitions and family tragedies, all of this making up avidly narrated, powerfully emotional quest.”
The Dallas Morning News

“Richly imagined and at times almost unbearably exciting. . . . An ambitious book, a pleasure to read, and wholly successful in its attempt to give a sense of how miraculous, unlikely, and ultimately binding the history of objects can be.”
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Author

© Randi Baird
Geraldine Brooks is the author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel March and the international bestsellers Caleb’s Crossing, People of the Book, and Year of Wonders. She has also written the acclaimed nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Born and raised in Australia, Brooks lives in Massachusetts. View titles by Geraldine Brooks

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