Jodi Picoult Biography

Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult. Simon & Schuster

Jodi Picoult's books are fast and controversial. Is the woman behind the books as provocative? Find out more about the popular author in this Jodi Picoult bio.


Jodi Lynn Picoult was born on May 19, 1966, in Nesconset on Long Island in New York.

Family Life:

Picoult's family moved to New Hampshire when she was 13. Although she left New Hampshire for college and her early jobs, she settled there again as a married woman.

She currently lives in Hanover, New Hampshire with her husband, Tim Van Leer, and their three children, Sammy, Kyle and Jake.


Picoult studied writing at Princeton University, where she earned her bachelor's degree. She also earned a master's degree in education from Harvard University.


Picoult wrote her first story, "The Lobster which Misunderstood," when she was five. While at Princeton, she published two stories in Seventeen magazine. She wrote her first novel, Songs of the Humpback Whale, while she was pregnant with her first child, and published it in 1992.

Picoult's novels usually deal with ethical issues and are told from a variety of viewpoints, with each chapter written in a different character's voice. Picoult uses this technique to show multiple sides of a situation and underscore areas of moral ambiguity.

Here is a complete list of all Jodi Picoult's books.


Picoult writes stories that are heart wrenching and full of family drama. It should be no surprise, then, that several of her books have been adapted into films for Lifetime, a TV network for women. Her first feature film, My Sister's Keeper, will be released in theaters in 2009.

Here is a complete list of all Jodi Picoult's movies.

Jodi Picoult Trivia:

  • Picoult's family has two Springer spaniels, two donkeys, two geese, three ducks and six chickens.
  • When her oldest son finished reading My Sister's Keeper, he broke into tears and wouldn't speak to his mother for a while because he was so mad about the ending.
  • Picoult has had personal experience with the sort of medical drama she writes about. When her middle son, Jake, was six he was diagnosed with cholesteatoma in his ear -- a benign tumor that can grow into your brain and kill you. He had 10 surgeries in three years and was partially deaf until recently.
  • Picoult likes to read Alice Hoffman.

Jodi Picoult's Official Website: