Oh yes, Geraldine and I are pen pals!! Here's her latest letter...


Dear Joyce,

My new novel, The Secret Chord, will be published October 6th. These last few days are unsettled ones for me. The book is finished, in the warehouses, gone beyond my reach.

What happens next is up to you. I'm hoping for that magical connection, that moment when something I've written grips you and carries you away. This time the journey reaches deep into the past—Second Iron Age Israel—and into the hidden recesses of one of the most passionate and mysterious hearts in literature.

King David shimmers between history and myth. He loves ardently, fights viciously, creates great art, forges a nation, loses his children: in short, everything happens to him. I've imagined him through the eyes of Natan, the prophet who foresees his greatness but who also sees his flaws.

As a news reporter in the 1990s, I covered the lives of women in the Mideast. I found myself remembering those women as I thought about David’s wives, shaping their destinies as best they could in a patriarchal world that allowed them little obvious power. A pleasure of writing the novel was imagining full lives behind the scant sentences about them in the scriptures.

Ten years ago, my son asked if he could learn the harp. As I write this, I’m listening to him play an arrangement of Leonard Cohen’s "Hallelujah," and thinking of all the ways this enigmatic and charismatic king from three thousand years ago continues to inspire.

Hoping you, too, will be inspired. 
Geraldine Brooks

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