Jodi Picoult Biography
Jodi Picoult is the bestselling author of the following novels: Songs of the
Humpback Whale (1992), Harvesting the Heart (1994), Picture Perfect
(1995), Mercy (1996), The Pact (1998); Keeping Faith (1999),
Plain Truth (2000), Salem
Falls (2001), Perfect Match (2002), Second Glance (2003), My Sister's Keeper
(2004), Vanishing Acts (2005), The Tenth Circle (2006),
Nineteen Minutes (2007), Change of Heart (2008), Handle with Care (2009), House Rules (2010), Sing You Home (2011). She is also the author of Wonder Woman: Love and Murder (a collection of Wonder Woman #6-10). In
2003 she was awarded the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction.
She was born and raised happilyon Long Island
something that she believed
at first was a detriment to a girl who wanted to be a writer. "I had such an
uneventful childhood that when I was taking writing classes at college, I called
home and asked my mother if maybe there might have been a little incest or
domestic abuse on the side that she'd forgotten about," Picoult recalls. "It
took me a while to realize that I already did have something to write about
that solid core of family, and the knotty tangle of relationships, which I keep
coming back to in my books."
Picoult studied creative writing with Mary Morris at Princeton, and had two
short stories published in Seventeen magazine while still a student. "The first
time the editor called me to say she wanted to pay me for something I'd
written," Picoult says, "I immediately called my mom and said, 'I'm going to be
a writer!' 'That's great,' she said. 'Who's going to support you?'" Realism -
and a profound desire to be able to pay the rent - led Picoult to a series of
different jobs following her graduation: as a technical writer for a Wall Street
brokerage firm, as a copywriter at an ad agency, as an editor at a textbook
publisher, and as an 8th grade English teacher - before entering Harvard to
pursue a master's in education. She married Tim Van Leer, whom she had known at
Princeton, and it was while she was pregnant with her first child that she wrote
her first novel, Songs of the Humpback Whale.
Picoult says, "I found out it was going to be published just before my son
was born, and I had this completely idealistic vision of him sitting at my feet,
cooing, while I continued to write books. Needless to say, it didn't quite work
out that way." Her struggle to balance motherhood and her own career formed, in
part, the basis for her second novel, Harvesting the Heart. For a few years, she
was either delivering a book or a baby. Now, she's happy to be prolific solely
in her writing
and admits wholeheartedly that she moonlights as a writer, but
she's really a mom. "It took me a while to find the balance," Picoult says, "but
I'm a better mother because I have my writing
and I'm a better writer because
of the experiences I've had as a parent that continually remind me how far we
are willing to go for the people we love the most."
She and Tim and their three children live in Hanover, New Hampshire with a
dog, a rabbit, two Jersey calves, and the occasional Holstein.
This biography was last updated on 07/11/2011.
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