For Immediate Release

Pulitzer Prize–Winning Author Geraldine Brooks Lecture:
Hearing Voices... and Other Close Encounters with the Dead

(Cambridge, September 4, 2009) Is it possible to capture the consciousness of the distant past in historical fiction? Henry James said no, but Geraldine Brooks refuses to be deterred. The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of March will talk about her efforts to retrieve authentic voices from the past, especially of those who were illiterate or marginalized or otherwise denied the opportunity to speak for themselves in the written record. One of those voices belongs to a 17th-century Native American, a Wampanoag of Martha’s Vineyard named Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck. He was the only Native American to graduate from Harvard’s Indian College and his story will be featured in Ms. Brooks’ next book.

The Harvard History and Literature Program and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology present “Hearing Voices... and Other Close Encounters with the Dead,” a lecture by Pulitzer prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks on Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 6:00 PM at the Yenching Institute, 2 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts. A reception will follow at the Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Avenue.

About Geraldine Brooks
Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up outside Sydney. She worked as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald and later for The Wall Street Journal.

She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2006 for her novel March. Her first novel, Year of Wonders, is an international bestseller, and People of the Book is a New York Times bestseller translated into 20 languages. She is also the author of the nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. Brooks divides her time between homes in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts and Sydney, Australia. (Adapted from

About Harvard’s History and Literature Program

History and Literature is one of Harvard's most individual and challenging concentrations. It is also the oldest. Founded in 1906 as an alternative to President Eliot's pleasantly anarchic "free elective system," it predated by thirteen years the establishment of a College-wide concentration system. Each year the concentration sends graduates to careers in media, law, business, banking, consulting, medicine, government, public policy, the arts, and academia. History and Literature teaches skills invaluable to any profession: the craft of writing and the art of close and critical reading.

About the Peabody Museum

The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.

Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for children, 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go online to: The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station.

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Media Contact:

Faith Sutter
Communications Coordinator
Peabody Museum
Tel: 617-495-3397

Bag belonging to Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, Aquinnah Wampanoag, Harvard's first Native American graduate, Class of 1665. PM 90-17-50/49302.

Where: Yenching Institute, Harvard University, 2 Divinity Ave., Cambridge. Reception follows in the Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave.

When: Thursday, September 24, 2009, 5:30 PM
Contact: 617-496-1027 or

Lecture by: Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of March