Jodi Picoult was born in Nesconset, Long Island, in 1966 but moved to New Hampshire with her family as a teenager. Writing was Jodi's passion from a young age and she wrote her first story at the age of five. While at Princeton University, Jodi published two short stories in Seventeen Magazine. After completing a masters at Harvard University, Jodi took a number of jobs before publishing her debut novel, Songs of the Humpback Whale, in 1992.
Since then, Jodi has gone on to publish 23 novels, the latest of which is Small Great Things, described as To Kill a Mockingbird for the 21st Century. A number of her novels have been turned into feature films, including The Pact, Plain Truth, The Tenth Circle, Salem Falls and My Sister's Keeper which starred Cameron Diaz and Alec Baldwin. Jodi received the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction in 2003 and has sold more than 40 million copies of her books worldwide.
Small Great Things
Jodi's most recent title presents us with a complex case of an African American nurse – Ruth - who has been accused of killing a white supremacist couple’s 3-day-old baby. Shortly after the couple arrived at the hospital they insisted that Ruth should not work with them or their baby. For the prosecution, it’s motive for Ruth to kill the child out of anger. For Ruth, it was the reason she hesitated to give medical care when the baby went into cardiac distress. Told from the perspectives of Ruth, her white defence attorney and the white supremacist father, Small Great Things explores modern racism, white privilege and the racial biases we all hold. Deemed Jodi's most important novel yet, it's no surprise that novel was picked as the opening title for the Richard and Judy Summer Book Club 2017. You can read an extract from the book as well as Richard and Judy's reviews and book club questions over on our blog.
Interview with Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult speaks about the inspiration for her novel Leaving Time. and the research she undertook before and during writing. Jodi states that the main source of her inspiration came from the lives and relationships of elephants; having heard that a mother and daughter elephant stay together for their whole lives, Jodi speaks of how she saw this as a metaphor of the relationship between her two main characters and how it was this fact on which her story was built. If you enjoyed the above video you may also be interested in this video in which Jodi speaks of her trip to an elephant sanctuary to learn about their characteristics and lives.