Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Thorn Birds

I’m going to reread the book, The Thorn Birds, this summer in anticipation of the trip to Australia. I think I last read it when I was thirteen or fourteen. I can’t wait to see what I think of it now.

Today is Colleen McCullough’s birthday - Happy Birthday!

From The Writer’s Almanac:

It's the birthday of novelist Colleen McCullough, (books by this author) born in Wellington, Australia (1937). She came from a rural, working-class family that wandered around Australia until finally settling in Sydney when Colleen was 12 years old. She wanted to be a doctor, but she wasn't allowed to go to medical school because of a skin condition, and so she went into neurophysiology, the study of the nervous system.
She got a job at a hospital in London, and while she was there she met an American professor who was so impressed with her ability that he invited her to manage his laboratories back at Yale. She did all kinds of work in the laboratories, but because she was a woman, she was paid about half as much as her co-workers. So, to try to make a little extra money, she decided to write a novel.
Her first novel, Tim, was published in 1974. That book sold well, but her first great success was The Thorn Birds (1977), an epic novel that tells the story of an Australian family across three generations. It became an international best seller and enabled McCullough to quit her job and devote all of her time to writing.

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