Jodi Picoult

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Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult as the 2013 Harry Middleton Lecturer DIG13478-016.jpg
Jodi Picoult served as the 2013 Harry Middleton Lecturer at the LBJ Presidential Library
Born Jodi Lynn Picoult
(1966-05-19) May 19, 1966 (age 51)
Nesconset, Long Island, New York, United States
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Period 1992–present
Spouse Timothy Warren Van Leer (m. 1989; 3 children)

Jodi Lynn Picoult (/ˈdi pˈk/; born May 19, 1966) is an American author. She was awarded the New England Bookseller Award for fiction in 2003.[1] Picoult currently has approximately 14 million copies of her books translated into 34 languages in print worldwide.[2]

Early life

Picoult was born and raised in Nesconset on Long Island with her parents and one little brother.[3] Her family moved to New Hampshire when she was 13 years old. She has described her family as "non-practicing Jewish".[4] Picoult wrote her first story at age five, entitled "The Lobster Which Misunderstood". Picoult's mother and grandmother were both teachers and says that their influence on her was very important.[3]


She studied creative writing at Princeton University with Mary Morris, and graduated in 1987. She published two short stories in Seventeen magazine while still in college. Immediately after graduation, she began a variety of jobs, ranging from editing textbooks to teaching eighth-grade English. She earned a master's degree in education from Harvard University. Picoult has two honorary Doctor of Letters degrees; one from Dartmouth College in 2010, the other from the University of New Haven in 2012.

In 2016, Jodi Picoult was selected to be Princeton's Class Day Speaker before their commencement.[5]


Picoult became the writer of DC Comics' Wonder Woman (vol. 3) series following the departure of Allan Heinberg.[6][7] Her first issue (#6) was released on March 28, 2007, and her last was issue #10 released on June 27, 2007.

Nineteen Minutes, Picoult's novel about the aftermath of a school shooting in a small town, has become her first book to debut at No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list. Her book Change of Heart was published on March 4, 2008, and became Picoult's second novel to debut at No. 1 on the NYT Best Seller list.[8] Handle with Care in 2009 and House Rules in 2010 were also No. 1 on the NYT Best Seller List.


VIDA: Women in Literary Arts

In 2016, Jodi Picoult joined Vida: Women in Literary Arts advisory board.[9] VIDA: Women in Literary Arts is a "non-profit feminist organization committed to creating transparency around the lack of gender parity in the literary landscape and to amplifying historically-marginalized voices, including people of color; writers with disabilities; and queer, trans and gender nonconforming individuals".[10] Picoult's website says that VIDA: Women in Literary Arts is a research-driven organization.

National Writing Project

Jodi Picoult was a member of the inaugural Writers Council for the National Writing Project in 2013,[11] an organization which recognizes the "universality of writing as a communicative tool and helps teachers enhance student writing".[12] This inaugural group consisted of 30 published authors.

Positive Tracks

Jodi Picoult was a spokesperson for Positive Tracks,[13] which empowers young people to fundraise through the power of athletics and partners with other charitable organizations.

Children's Hospital at Dartmouth

In 2010, Jodi Picoult lead the 5th Annual Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Hero Half Marathon & Relay 5k Walk around Occum Pond and through the town of Hanover, New Hampshire.[14]

New Hampshire Coalition Against the Death Penalty

Picoult is a member of the Advisory Committee for the New Hampshire Coalition Against the Death Penalty,[15] an organization seeking to end the death penalty in the state of New Hampshire through outreach, education and advocacy.

Trumbull Hall Troupe

Jodi Picoult was the co-founder of the Trumbull Hall Troupe in 2004 with Marjorie Rose as a means of providing kids with a fun, educational theatre experience. The group of kids grade 6 through grade 12 audition to be in an original musical written by Picoult and composer Ellen Wilber and the proceed are donated to local charities.[16] Trumbull Hall Troupe's contributions since founding have exceeded $120K.

2017 Women's March

On January 21, 2017, Jodi Picoult spoke at the New Hampshire Women's Day of Action and Unity in support of the Women's March on Washington.[17][18][19][20]

Honors and Awards

  • New England Bookseller Award for Fiction (2003) [21]
  • Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association (2005) [22]
  • Book Browse Diamond Award for novel of the year (2005) [23]
  • Lifetime Achievement Award for mainstream fiction from the Romance Writers of America
  • Cosmopolitan Magazine's 'Fearless Fiction' Award (2007) [24]
  • Waterstone's Author of the Year (UK)
  • Vermont Green Mountain Book Award (2007) [25]
  • New Hampshire Granite State Book Award
  • Virginia Reader's Choice Award (2007) [26]
  • Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award (2006) [27]
  • Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award (2007) [28]
  • New Hampshire Literary Award for Outstanding Literary Merit (2013–14)

Personal life

She has been married to Timothy Warren Van Leer, whom she met while in college, since 1989.[29] They and their three children, Samantha van Leer, Kyle van Leer, and Jake van Leer, and a handful of pets, live in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Recurring characters

"It's always great fun to bring a character back, because you get to catch up on his/her life; and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel–you already know how he speaks, acts, thinks."[30]


Film and television adaptations


  1. ^ "New England Book Awards". New England Independent Booksellers Association. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  2. ^ Yabroff, Jennie (April 11, 2009). "Does Jodi Picoult Hurt Literature?". Newsweek. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  3. ^ a b Moorhead, Interview by Joanna (2009-07-17). "My family values". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  4. ^ "A conversation with Jodi about Keeping Faith". Jodi Picoult. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Princeton University - Novelist Picoult selected as 2016 Class Day speaker". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  6. ^ "Bestselling author tackles comic books: Bestselling novelist Jodi Picoult writing 'Wonder Woman'". CNN. April 26, 2007. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  7. ^ Wood, Sean M. (March 26, 2007). "Novelist takes a comic turn". San Antonio News. 
  8. ^ Cowles, Gregory. "Print & E-Books". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ "About VIDA". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  11. ^ "National Writing Project Launches Writers Council to Draw Attention to the Importance of Writing - National Writing Project". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  12. ^ Taylor, James. "Jodi Picoult · Biographical sketch". Jodi Picoult. Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  13. ^ "Grassroot Soccer and Positive Tracks Expand Partnership - Grassroot Soccer". Grassroot Soccer. 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  14. ^ "Bestselling Author Jodi Picoult Will Lead 5th Annual CHaD Hero Half Marathon & Relay 5K Walk". Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  15. ^ "Board of Directors and Advisory Committee". New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  16. ^ "About Us » Trumbull Hall Troupe | Trumbull Hall Troupe". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  17. ^ Taylor, James. "Jodi Picoult - Book tours, book signings, special events, and appearances.". Jodi Picoult. Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  18. ^ Duffort, Lola (22 January 2017). "Thousands gather at State House for N.H.’s version of women’s march". Concord Monitor. Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  19. ^ "Picoult to speak at women's rally at State House | New Hampshire". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  20. ^ "Massive Women's March turnouts prompt change of plans in D.C., Chicago". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  21. ^ "New England Book Awards – NEIBA". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  22. ^ admin (2007-07-30). "2005 Alex Awards". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  23. ^ BookBrowse. "Current and Previous winners of the BookBrowse Awards". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  24. ^ "Cosmo Celebrates Fun and Fearless Fiction". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  25. ^ "Green Mountain Book Award | Department of Libraries". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  26. ^ "Past Winners". Virginia State Reading Association. Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  27. ^ "Lincoln Award Past Winners". Google Docs. Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  28. ^ "Past Winners | Maryland Association of School Librarians". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  29. ^ "Jodi Picoult Weds Timothy van Leer". The New York Times. November 19, 1989. Retrieved 2007-05-29. 
  30. ^ "Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult". Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  31. ^ "THE PI-CULT: December, 2007 – Edition". Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  32. ^ "novels about family, relationships, love, & more". Jodi Picoult. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  33. ^ Gay, Roxanne (2016-10-11). "Jodi Picoult's New Novel Reviewed by Roxanne Gay". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-16.

External links

  • Official website
  • Jodi Picoult on IMDb
Preceded by
Will Pfeifer
Wonder Woman writer
Succeeded by
J. Torres
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