Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Nineteen Minutes

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Nineteen Minutes

A Novel

by Jodi Picoult

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2007, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2008, 464 pages

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Jodi Picoult is the bestselling author of fourteen books to date. She was born and raised on Long Island before studying creative writing at Princeton. While still a student she had two short stories published in Seventeen magazine. On being told that someone was going to pay her for something she'd written she immediately called her mother who responded. "That's great, 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 (1992).

Her struggle to balance motherhood and her own career formed, in part, the basis for her second novel, Harvesting The Heart. "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 lives with Tim and their three children in Hanover, New Hampshire with a dog, a rabbit, two Jersey calves, and the occasional Holstein.

More about Jodi Picoult and info on some of her books at BookBrowse.

Publishing in March 2008:
Change of Heart.


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This article was originally published in February 2007, and has been updated for the February 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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