tv In Depth In Depth with Jodi Picoult CSPAN January 1, 2019 8:35pm-11:31pm EST
[applause] >> you are watching book tv, on c-span 2, the top 10 most watched event. joti was guest in november, she discussed her books, her most present a spark of light, second most watched program of 2018 according to book tv.org. >> monthly program in depth with jody picoult. a spark of light. her books are published worldwide in over 30 languages. >> you suggest that justice
kavanaugh should read your newest book, a spark of life. >> i think it is probably one of the most balanced looking at abortion rights and women's reproductive write rights have e found, i think it would allow him to see other people's points of view with. theempathy. >> the book is about a shooting at a clinic in mississippi. they have one clinic left in america because of over 280 laws at state level that chipped away at reopr reopro -- reopro duckie rights since 2012. he comes in and takes hostages, one of people he takes host an
is 15-year-old daughter of the hostage negotiator the outside. people in clinic are a wide range of people. you see individuals who are pro choice, and pro life, all their points of views are evenly represented. >> how you to story board a complex story like that with connection and things going on in that is a particularly question, there is a twist this. it told in reverse. very first thing you see it standoff between gunman and hostage negotiator, every chapter goes back an hour in time, until at the end, you learn who brought the diverse people to the clinic at that particular moment. that was harder than i anticipated, i wound up writing
a 48 page outline, because i had to write it conlogically in reverse, and had to follow story line of 10 very diverse characters. i had never written an outline like that. i know characters and plot and the twist. but in this case, there was so much going on, it was so complex, i needed to map it out. real magic was not in the outlining but in the editing, when i edited the book, i took post it flags and a marked up whole book by character, and reverse 10 times following each character's thread. then i e edited going forward about how much time did you spend in jackson, mississippi. >> about a twea week between jan and alabama, working with dr. wilwillie parker, he identifiese
performed abortions not in spite of his religion but because of it he heard a sermon one day at church, the good samaritan, said who will provide for these women if not me. he goes around the united states. >> why do you and author note in end feel it important to tell us have you not had an abortion. >> only because it truth, and more important, if i had, had an abortion, writing this book would have taught me to speak about it one of the saddest facts that i came upon during research of the book was a interview 151 women who have terminated pregnancies, less than 25% wanted to be acknowledged. they wanted initials or anonymous. in decade since, they still have
not told parents, partners. friends, employees. they just have kept it to themselves, to be honest, when i was listening to kavanaugh confirmation hearing, i thought about these women. when women don't tell their story, a narrative is visited upon them, it one of blame and shame. you did something wrong, you should have known better, that to me is most resonate message from the book. one of 4 women will terminate a pregnancy over the course of her lifetime, putting a face to that, instead of casting women as selfish and evil is important, this is the way it take the narrative back. >> you participate -- you observed actual abortions? >> i did. >> what was that process like. >> one thing that really is up front about is we should not
faultalk about abortion in euphemism. you may not feel it a person being killed, but you are interrupting a life process. you have to recognize that, even if you are pro choice, he feels we should recognize that, he invited me into room to observe a 5 week abortion, 8 week abortion and 15 week abortion, it was quite a privilege to be there with women who are going through a difficult moment, and let me enter view them, before and after. 5 week and 8 week abortion took within 3 minutes, 15 week was different. it took 7 minutes. and mixed among the products, were things that were very, very tiny, and very, very human like. a small hand, an elbow. that was shocking to see.
but interviewing women who had that, she had three children you were age of 4. she could pairly afford to -- she could bear li barely affordd them. she knew if she had the child she would not be able to feed them, does that make her a good mother or a bad mother. >> you are pro choice. >> i am. >> how did you find jeanine's voice. >> she put on a disguise and gone to clinic pretending to be a patient to secretly tape the workers to say something incriminating to put on internet, je jeanine does exist. there are women, who are protesters. then going right back out next day to continue protesting. jeanine, for me, was the voice
of someone who is pro life. i did not due dil diligence, i e with people who identify as pro life. i went in there assuming these people must be zelle outs, i would having in nothing in common. they were funny, smart, and interesting. for me this hammered home we have more in common with people who think differently from us than not in common with them, they come from a place of deep convict you shoulconviction liky don't want to be seen as anti-woman than anyone pro choice want to be cast. you never want to hear women use abortion as birth control that is not true either.
>> so you tell a very topic call story in a page turner way, how do you fine that plan. >>00 how, but with maybe with practice. i love the concept of the novel as a way to educate about social justice. because i think that for example, when i read -- when i wrote this week, i read count listen suitlisten suite studiest abortion tr -- statistics. and you think you are picking up a book to be entertained. you think you are picking up a book that was take you away for a few hours. if i have done my job right, by the end of the book, you should be thinking very hard about a topic you might otherwise not have approached. that way, i think that fiction is so sneaky it gets people's
minds to crack wide open. >> 1.2 million abortions in 1950s you reported. prior to roe v. wade. >> yep. and there is every reason to plaintiff that if roe v. wade is over turned we'll continue to have abortions, they will just be unsafe, and women will be in more danger. i think it is important to recognize that a fact that i did not know, 97 3ers o% of the wort planned parenthood and other centers do has nothing to to with abortions, if it is health care, and screening. opolly 3% of that business is abortion. that is only part of the business that funded itself. if you go to get one, you have to pay for it. if we defund planned parenthood
all they will be able to do is abortion care. they think they will stop abortions. >> iare the services profitable. >> i would not say they are profit. , they pay for themselves, they cover their own costs in a clinic. there are no federal funds allocated to that. if you get rid of federal funding you would just get rid of women's healthcare. >> before we started, we were chatting about your tour in england, and the questions that men would ask. >> i didn't get that many questions from men on tour in america. but in england, in past week, i had multiple men ask, did you talk to the men who were helping to make the decisions, answer that i gave them was no, i never
spoke specifically to men, i was interviewing women who would be at a clinic. but, in the course of my interview with women, i did ask them about their partners, i found out vast majority did tell their partners, in case of what it didn't happen it was usually rain or incest or man had left the scene. what i did find out is that even when men were particularly supportive, they paid for half of the abortion or drove the woman into clinic or were with her. the women fel felt alone and isolated, they recognized their partner was trying to connection, the thought in their head, you don't understand this is happening to me, not you. >> it may be i should not do this, all books of yours that i read, i try to find character
that you identify with. >> okay. >> and so i found olive. >> in this one. >> beth is a interesting character. she is in many ways when future of america could be in a post roe v. wade world, a young girl run out of options, she has gone to try to get a judicial waiver for an abortion, so she doesn't have to tell her parents about it. and something is anyone wrong with the judge, he can't be there that day. and by the time he can see her again, it too late. in many states, where we've seen person hood statutes come into play. there is one coming up in
alabama, this you see that you could be tried for murder. edon't see myself as beth. but olive is a 75-year-old woman. she is at the clinic. she is there for other healthcare. i wanted her there to point out that the reason people go too clinics is not just aportion abn care. she is the beating heart of the book. i would say, if i could be anyone in the book it would be -- dr. lo louie ward. >> what do you think of the cover? >> it is beautiful. to me looks like an
impressionist painting. you look at faces of women caught among colors. i thought it was a beautiful and interesting interpretation of federal inside. does not bother me it is pastel colors. we would consider more feminine it is about women's reproductive health. >> if i were walking past that book in an airport, unless i was familiar with you, i would not necessarily stop and pick it up. >> i would argue that is not always the funk -- function of the cover. there has been a huge jenner ger bias in marketing, that would never be a chicklet book. that is too high brow.
we know there is intend gender discrimination in publishing, because of a group that has done numbers count, they did it every year, they crunch numbers, how manypf female authors are reviewed. and how many women are reviewers. they have, panded since then. now they look at people of color, and people of disabilities, and they start to see how white and how male driven publishing is. their statistics have been remark. and upheld when we knew all along. what is interesting about publishing is that 66% of book buyer are women. we know women will read men and women authors, men read only men. and part of that is marketing to you, part is fact that very often women are called women
fixed authors -- women fiction authors. often if someone called a women fiction author it has less to to what is between the covers half what is between the author's legs, i offer in my book, small great things is about racism and america and has not one kiss in it. and won best roman novel in poland. >> you were quoted saying, ien to min mind the term chiclet. i don't write it, i think it is funny i to just because i have a vagina. >> i am sorry if you pick up by book for chiclet it supposed to be a fun beach read, i read a book about holocaust it would
not be my first choice for a chiclet book, i love light fiction, there is a place for that. for all genre fiction. in fact there was a points, years ago. wikipedia decided they would break out women's a thor authorm american novelist there was a huge uproar, they took all women out of american novelist page. if you want a subcategory great, but keep the women with american novelist too. >> was there a thought process, let's make sure they get as well or just -- >> nobody consulted me. but when you eckert the group but you don't -- you make them a subset without keeping them a part of a larger group. >> do have you any idea how much of our reader are reader.
>> i do, i was tired of being called a women's fiction author a tracked it for three months, 50% of my fan mail is from men, they said, i'm sure i'm the only man who is reading your book. against have you been conditioned as men to read male a a thors, i say, i hear from many men, i love when men read my stuff, they take away different things from now novels from women. i would urge men who are watching, go to your book shelf, do you read a female author for every male a author that you read. you should. >> coolest fact about as -- this a book about time in many ways,
conlogicly backward. what people believe to believe the things they believe about controversial topics, it. is if our owny per -- experience. when they a single dad, they bond over a love of stars. for me it felt like a perfect metaphor for this book. >> why does the title come from. >> so it was not original title. my publisher did not like the original title. moment of conception. to me it was not about where life begins as much as where belief begins, they fell it was too clinical. for a month we went back and forth, they tried to give me other titles, i hated them. my amazing fabulous editor jen
heavy called me, she was -- a flight, and read a inflight magazine about a study that was done by scientist in midwest, the moment that sperm fertilizes the egg, under a very my powered microscope, you can see a flash of light. that causes a spark, they have ascertained the bigger the spark the more healthy th -- embryo i. i was thinking about that and my fictional doctor what is modeled after wil willie parker and a dt christian. there was light, and in the beginning confident reading this
biological. i thought i can make it work. >> your best selling books that you can decide. >> i get cover input, they show my a cover, they say what do you think, i tell them if i like oren to like it. that was not the original color for a spark the light. the original one looked like small great things. i did not want people confusing them. our art director came back with that. that out the my a. >> and speaking of small great things that is next book we'll talk about. >> all right. >> what does that cover represent? >> so, when i look at that cover. i think of those where the color chips that artists use. there are spots where color is
missing, there something not quite right about the color there is an absence. small great things is about racism in america, and to me that was such a beautiful ill illustration of what i was trying to talk about. >> okay, again. are you kennedy? >> i think any white person is kennedy. that book. actually looks at based off a real life i thin incident in mi. a labor and delivery nurse. in aftermath, the baby's father said, he didn't want anyone that was her or looked like her to touch his kid. a bunch of personnel banded together, they sued, it made my wonder, what if i push that
envelope a little, what if that nurse were alone with the baby and something went wrong, and what if she was charged with murder, and she was defended by a white defender, and what if i could tell the story in her voice, and voice of twice supremacist dad and the white public defender as they unpack their own feelings about race. to me, it is for white people, to say, open your eyes wider, easy to say, that is a racist, harder to point to themselves and say, the same thing. >> if you are white in america, you hold all of the power. and although it easier for us to see headwinds of racism and know that you know if you are a person of color, your life might be harder, it is really difficult for white people to acknowledge. racism, and there are unearned
and that's okay. that means you are learning something if you feel that an easy. it's part of many things you can do if you want to be actively antiracist. another good thing to do is learn the different between equal and equitable. equal means same and equitable means fair. if you had a studen student of d would you give her the test as everyone else? of course not he would give her braille. in life because of systemic and institutional racism, people are starting at different points, so we have to all the shore in whatever line of work we are in that everyone has a fair chance to get to the finish line. that's what equitable means. things like that, talking to people around you. the role is to talk to people that look like us and to say the aware of the fact you have privileges families of color are
not going to have. how are you going to take advantage of that privilege if you are a mom and have a second grader, go to your child's school and say what are you teaching about african-american history isn't just slavery or will you learn about some inventors and role models who have beehappened to also be bla? even better if you are a white appeared and asking that stuff. you can find a way to be actively antiracist. >> host: was it easy for you to give sympathy -- -- >> guest: it's hard to find anything and he's the only character that i've ever written at the end of writing a section, i would have to go downstairs and take a shower because i felt dirty and it was so easy for me to be able to slip into his
patterns of speech and i hated myself for that. it made me so uncomfortable but ultimately, i think it is very rare. i have thoughts about that in but we won't go into that right now. people are balanced and i need you to feel sympathy and ultimately he is the dad lost his baby. any parent would feel sympathy for that and understand how hard is that there's no matter what you think of him and his disgusting beliefs, and you understand he might be grieving the loss of a child. he proposes and it is this romantic moment and people said
how dare he have a romance like people that are reprehensible and their beliefs of course they do. that was critical for me to recognize as a reader you are going to feel the tug and say maybe i do have something in common with him but that also important because he has a sea change believe by the end of the novel and you should be able to believe that someone who is morally reprehensible can find a way out into the light. >> host:.
it provides me the ability to lay out a paper trail. unless you've threaded it very carefully i like doing that and i feel like that makes me a better author. he grew up in orange county california and was in a pretty privileged family and ran with a silent game. literally wrote th the ad rabbid apology note and he wrote back
and said. one day he was in the cafeteria and the tour guide was coming through the they spent months in conversation and now they are very good friends. the other man i spoke with used to be the head of the white supremacist group in philadelphia. he was sent to jail and realized he had more in common with the black kids than the white kids. they would talk about the girls on the outside but they miss. he had all the worst misconceptions and the nicest contract. the contrast his boss called him into his office and thought he's going to cheat me out of my money but instead he said you've done such an exemplary job i would like to pay you double.
many of the characteristics that he had came from the life of both of these men. >> host: liberal use of the n-word in this book. is that a decision you made early? >> guest: it had to be and that's the way they would talk and that is what made me need to shower. >> host: good afternoon and welcome to book tv on c-span2 and our monthly program of the best-selling author. this is a whole year of fiction on in depth and we are in month 11 now. if you would like to call and talk with our guest here is how to d do what he will put the numbers on the screen 748-8200 in the east and central time zone 8201 if you live in the mountain and pacific time zone
and we will also go through the social media site just remembe remember@booktv is the way to reach us if you have questions or comment you would like to make and if you are just being introduced. you've written 26 books. as every one of them a bestseller? >> guest: i didn't have that overnight opera moment. my first book had 3500 copies printed and people who read my books to their friends you should read this and they told their friends and it grew very organically. it wasn't until i think it was after my sister's keeper second glance i think it got on the
second bes bestseller list witha push. >> host: how quickly was my sister's keeper option for the movie? >> guest: it took a while and it wasn't a pleasant experience. [laughter] >> host: is it accurate to the book? >> guest: though it is not. when the book was optioned, i said the only thing important to me is they keep the ending because it does have a twist at the end and ultimately i know that sold the book and there were people that said just read it so we can tell you what happens. is how the producer had gotten it and they went to a caster into a fight with talk to him. i said yes and just told him the ending is important to me. he said i'm not going to change the ending. if anyone does i will tell you
why. and i worked with him for a year and a half he would ask the question about characters. i saw a script that looked like a book and then i got an e-mail from a casting agency and she said did you know they changed the end of the movie and they wouldn't take my call and they threw me off the set i went to the head of new line cinema and said you are going to lose money on this because i have some pretty grew fans and they are not going to want to see this movie. he said we know what we are doing. sure enough they lost money on the film and my fans were very upset. ultimately the great irony is that money speaks in hollywood and i was able to say you are going to lose money and as a result of that i've had more creative control on projects. >> host: did you have creative
control once you auctioned at? >> guest: those writers do not. if you have creative control that is the anomaly because usually they say you want creative control we don't need that, thank you very much we will go to another author willing to take the money and run but it's like giving a baby up for an adoption and try to make an educated choice to do the best you can but you're not allowed to call every day and asked diask to defeat her break. >> host: small great things has been auctioned. >> guest: we will see it's in the early days yet but we do know that the spielberg company auctioned it, viola davis and julia roberts are attached and i can't think of better casting so i am delighted that so far. >> host: [inaudible] >> guest: it's going to be great, she is a talented
actress. >> host: has your books gotten more topical over the years? >> guest: i try to look at the trajectory of my career and i think it stands where my brain is at any given time if you look my first book was about mothers and daughters die was closer in age to the daughters then i was to the mothers. then i had a baby. i'd gotten married and had a baby right before my first book was published. it was how incredibly difficult it is because it really shocked me how hard that was and then i got into marriage and relationships and whether they are 50/50. then i had a wide span of years where all of my books are about all the terrible things that can happen to your kids from sexual
abuse to kidnapping to suicide him all these things and then my kids grew up and got to the point they were pretty self-sufficient. and i think i begin to take a step back and look at i would say bigger issues that make me sit up at night and worry. things like the nature of good and evil and racism small great things what it means to lose some one. reproductive rights and spark of light. >> host: in my sister's keeper, you preface it with as the mother of a child has had over ten surgeries. surgeries. >> my sister's keeper grew out of two different places. i have written about the eugenics project in america which very few people think about.
we have modeled the program that hitler used for his final solution and one of the things i learned from these throwaway facts is the eugenics society was in coldspring new york and when they folded the group that took over was the human genome project and that seemed almost too close for comfort. there was a story of modern eugenics they were the first family to help their daughter who at the time had a disease and was supposed to die by age two but they ended up providing a stem cell transplant through unbillable cord blood and she went to remission and all was great. i knew that it was a whole different topic and i started to think a lot about that and i was
thinking in particular when i met them, they were like five and eight that what would happen to a donor sibling in the teenage years when it's all about mia just here because of my sister, do i have any word on my own and that grew into my my sisters keeper at the same time i had been the parent of a child with multiple surgeries and my middle son had a benign tumor that grows inside your ear towards your brain and it will cause you. the traditional way to kill it is to scrape up th out the tumod leave the child death in that year and we chose a different approach one that would require more surgery overall that might preserve a little hearing it turned out there were less than nine kids in america but had it at that time and we made the right choice because at the end
he was profoundly deaf in his right ear and a kind ibiza became a talented singer and was the best success story but i remember when it was like with reconstructions of hard it was to keep the family balance because one child had to take precedence at the moment. we like to say we love all of our children equally but the truth is sometimes circumstances arise that make you hav have to direct your attention towards one of your children and we hope we are able to be there for all of our children when they need us the most adventist why i wound up writing a point of view for serrfor sarah and my serra . >> host: quote from my sisters keeper we've all got our script down pat. i am a lost cause, you are the peacemaker. a lot of familial relationships
in your book. >> guest: that makes sense because i was watching my own kids grow up in a family and i found the sisters keeper also fascinating on many levels. i know tha that its path and ets courses at medical school now and nursing school and it really is something to consider because we tend to think parents can make the best positions for the children medically but what if you have two children with competing medical interests and when it comes to the medical ethics we know that a patient and what is happening may end up convening and the donor isn't considered a patient so they wouldn't necessarily convene the ethics committee and finally it can be a slippery slope choosing an embryo that has matching proteins to help cure cancer is different than choosing a child that has brown hair or were a d
is female you just begin to wonder how do we monitor that and keep it from spiraling out of control so it was fun for me to write that book because it was an example science has almost outstripped morality and ethics and we get to a place where that happens. good afternoon you are on the author jodi picoult. >> good afternoon. it's wonderful hearing you and thank you very much. you are such an impressive personality as you should interview yourself while you are here. if you were running for office, if you were in my district i would vote for you, but i also want to say as an unusual older white male whose done different things i always grew up reading
and have maintained that habit. i regretfully have not read many of your books. i think i stumbled into one or two along the way but after seeing this today, i'm going to seek out and try to correct that. i just want to mention a couple of people that i've been readi reading. ii just got done reading in perfect birds and jeanette who was recommended to me by my niece. we have kind of a familial bond gender book club that we give back and forth to each other and what an incredible come i've read both of them, class counsel and impressive stories. i think now in the midst of the
need to movement and in the face of what is being phased it's even more important for voices of reason and a different point of view such as doors an yours e characters that you create. >> host: we are going to leave it there. thank you for calling in. any reaction? >> guest: he picked some great female writers and jeanette is a phenomenal writer. first of all i am also pleased he mentioned politics because i've been on a book tour for spark of life now for sixth straight week and every single stop i was asked to run for office. he pointed out something important he has a non- gender
book club which is great and fantastic it is in just a matter of reading women if you are a man you should be broadening your bookshelf no matter who you are and that is one of the things i challenge people to do. how many authors of color are you reading? there are so many out there and if you are not reading voices that are different from who you are, that is the beauty of reading and how we extend ourselves hearing from people who are different and who lived life different from us so i applaud him for doing that. >> host: to take up the talent i think you beat us to the punch. your style is a lot of first-person narratives. you will switch from ruth to kennedy to alex.
is that a tough technique? do you have to get in somebody's head at that point but now you're going to write about turk? >> guest: i love it. i have no idea why i think of it this way but i always imagined a bunch of rubber boots lined up on the side of a river and it keeps flowing they will sit different than the next pair of boots and you will feel a floating around you but that narrative is going to keep going no matter who's boots you are putting on. others are very stiff and death to me is what it's like to write in a different voice but as you pointed out, some of the things i try to do when i write particularly about a controversial chub to ge debates
object is to provide everybody's point of view. i have an opinion i don't mind sharing. it's not my job to tell you what to think. my opinion should be no better or worse than yours. i would ask you to listen to every plaintiff view regarding a controversial situation and decide why it is what it is. you may never have listened to what the other side has to say and you will hear every side. you are able to give different points of view very easily. i hear from people that say they
are devastated when something happens in the book and i think while you read a book and a week and i'm with these characters for nine months so you can imagine how attached i get. they are very real to me. >> host: fixed costs from glen in michigan. >> guest: >> caller: i was reading a book about the eugenics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to create the perfect anglo-saxon kind of population.
>> guest: very often we hear we are in a post-racial world. barack obama was president. there is a weird thing that happens when it comes to the high levels of politics. the more media there is a transcendence where someone who is very much in the public eye that might be perso a person ofr and almost loses that sense of color because the community also sort of grabs them as their own. the bottom line is. it is devastating that if you have a black homeless men and white homeless man on the street, the white homeless man will get more donations and that has been proven.
the point isn't i would say situational in that we have one president or a media superstar that happens to be a black woman or we have my next-door neighbor is asian-american and was able to get into ten ivy league colleges. that is situational. it is like healthcare and jobs and housing are still balanced in favor of white people and against people of color. there are so many studies that have been done to support this. me as a white person, we are conditioned to believe hard work for example if we get into a great college but it's also true
you had a pedant but stayed home and read nursery rhymes that night and you didn't have patents necessarily that were working two or three jobs just to pay their rent. education when you back it up like that begin to see there are advantages people have the that people of color often don't. there will always be exceptions to the rule. >> host: you studied creative writing. have you utilized that protect the? >> guest: i taught eighth-grade english in public schools for a year. >> host: new hampshire? >> guest: concord. i love teaching eighth grade. in fact two of my kids are
teachers now, won his seventh and eighth-grade math and on eis a fourth-grade teacher in massachusetts. i have really enjoyed being in front of the class working with kids. i still work in my hometown but i've run for over a decade. i do believe in a way i'm still a teacher i just think my classroom is really big. >> host: next call for jodi picoult comes from scott in yonkers new york. >> caller: good afternoon. i have to say after the call i would like to take a shower myself that i don't want to delay your program here. i love what you said about buying a white male and i think men should read or female writers, most all of my favorites are female. i would like to mention one who happens to be black and female. i'm wondering if you've heard of
her she wrote a book called the summer plans she's an amazing writer-you should check her out. i'd like to say i love what you said about people having to educate other white people and it seems like an evermore uphill battle. if you could have ultimate power for a day what would you do to change things? the only way to balance out what happened in the past is to let women and black people have to votdevoted themselves for 300 ys or so. to me that is the only fair way to do that but i would like to do what you are thinking and i will get off the line now. thank you and i can't wait to read your new book. >> guest: thank you. that is a lot of power in one
day. first i have not heard of the author but i will definitely check her out. i love finding offers i don't know yet, so that is exciting. if i could have controlled for one day i would ask that everything won't be overturned. honestly, i do believe the ways we could sweepingly overhaul the systems in particular systemic racism. first of all i think that would bring politics back to the grassroots level and i would make sure voter suppression is wiped out so that we can get rid of gerrymandering and make sure there isn't redistricting in a way that feeds power to one
particular party and the other thing i would do is have mandatory free advanced education. it wouldn't have to be a college education you could also get tradtrained learning but i do believe people sit in their own eco- chambers and are told what to think. critical thinking usually happens at the collegial level that is where you learn to take a variety of opinions and balance them with your own belief and world and life knowledge and move forward into amalgamation of information. it was blatant lies and we need to sit back and drove their own conclusions and move forward progressively. >> host: with that said do you
have any politically conservative friends? >> guest: i do have politically fiscally conservative friends which i completely admire but i think most of my friends are socially progressive and morally progressive and circumstances in my own life with degette difficult to interact with someone who for example supposed to marriage or something like that. >> host: and a spark of life, who are they? >> guest: i got to them through a wonderful woman who lives across the street from me who i walk with and my daughter roomed with their daughter and she said i know a lovely couple that with the willing to talk with you and they were pro-life and phenomenal. it was really interesting to hear their point of view.
i remember having part of my conversation i would definitely push this as hard as i could and i would say our you -- what would happen if god forbid your daughter winds up 13-years-old and pregnant with what happened. she thought about it and finally said i hope she would talk to her parents, but two of u the td her priest and i hope she would make the right choice. i said that's an interesting word that you used there and it was great to be able to have that kind of a respectful conversation. one of the things i got to do on this book tour is be part of a podcast by an evangelical woman from texas who is pro-life and one of the things i talked about on my podcast has been if you recognize nobody really wants to
have an abortion. it is seven per thousand and the only difference between the countries is free birth control and widely accessible sex ed courses in schools get the people in america but ar are ofe most pro-life are also anti-contraception. that fascinates me because i may not agree with what you believe but if you tell me you are the voice of the unborn and the war giving this baby of a waste, i understand where you're coming from. you aryou're not talking about e
unborn you are just trying to control women's sexuality. i have a big problem with that. a lot of regular clientele wrote me to say you've given me so much to think about and another said i am catholic and pro-life and i don't believe in contraception. i would love to talk about this because you asked for someone to explain it to you. she sent me an excerpt from a study. i've never seen a study like that so i looked at the study and they read the entire study and what i learned is the next two lines in that paragraph said
this was because at the time the study was done families are making decisions to have fewer familiechildren in the family se didn't expect the study. we did see as we expect it there was a decline in abortion rates were you aware of this study and she said no i never would have imagined that they would cherry pick and we had a great conversation that was respectf respectful. we were not yelling at each other and i think we both allowed the other two savings we wouldn't normally see. i asked her if it bothered her to have priests, men who are celibate making decisions about her health care and she said i've never seen it like that. no priest has ever made a decision about my health care. my husband and i decide together and icy natural family planning has a choice and i said okay if you see it as your choice i can get on board with that.
>> host: where and how were you raised? >> guest: one of the developments in the 50s and 70s that cropped up it was called up a story that developmenthatdevelopments aboua self-fulfilling prophecy. and my dad worked on wall street and my mom ran a nursery school. and i had a very boring upbringing. my parents are phenomenal and are so very happily married. i have a little brother and i like him. i didn't seem to have any of the english and i decided early on instead of writing what i knew which would have been boring i was going to write what i wanted to learn. >> host: did you stay in long lg island or make your way up? >> guest: i went to princeton and that's the first time and i never went back after that. i worked on wall street until the stock market crashed and i took my severance package and worked as a textbook editor and
i taught creative writing at a private school, got a masters in education and i was the second person in the two-person ad agency, i taught eighth-grade english and then i kept writing after that but i found an agent during this and when i left my teaching job the woman who was my agent then and still is she wound up selling my book and it was published after my film was born. >> host: we are going to take another call and it is another mail. also thank you for taking my call and thank you to booktv. a half a century ago when it was still agricultural and a lot of
exposure to the dairy industry and whenever i go to church and hear them telling me how you're not supposed to have any control of heover conception and everytg it's like they are talking to a herd of cattle. i wonder what you have to say about that and i will just turn the tv back on and listen. >> guest: my basic feeling is if we had free and accessible contraception and it was available after school along with sex education we would see definitely a decline in the teen birth rate. we know that from multiple studies and we note abstinence only education doesn't work so the administration's idea to funnel money in that direction seems like a waste of time and
effort and money to me. i think that there are always going to be extenuating circumstances and many of the women i've spoken with were using birth control the right way but every now and then it just doesn't work there's still 2% of that for percent and that is a reason i think we also need to ensure that there are reproductive choices for women but obviously, if you are against abortion, a good place to start would be making birth control widely accessible. >> host: i don't know if you can see the screen behind us we are going to begin with debbie and martinez california, go ahead with your question or comment. >> caller: thank you for having me on and booktv for having my absolute favorite author on your show, and thank
you jodi picoult for taking on controversial topics. with every book i read of yours, it's revealing things in front of my eyes i didn't know existed. i want to know how you came by such insightfulness, i am extremely jealous of that and i would also like to know why so many of your novels and in courtroom dramas and if you have time, i would like to know if there is a topic that you would not tackle? maybe we should get her to sit here. >> guest: how i was raised i think i was raised in a household where education was valued and what of the things i loved about my parents that i tried to model when i have children as they were never the kind of parents who said you must get straight a's. instead, my brother and i really wanted them to be proud of us info we just always tried our best and as long as we were
trying our best, they were happy for us. but also education was valued in our household and so i think education can take different forms. you don't have to be in school to get an education or to continue her education. one of the things i love about doing the research bu that i do which is extensive decided to go back to school. and i think it's that spark and that love oa love of learning ts the want to continue to be a writer because i am constantly finding out things i don't know and i just love that. for me that is part of the writing process. second question was about courtroom drama. excellent question. so, i am not a lawyer and i don't play one on tv. i managed to give birth to a child that is now in his second year of law school, but i have learned things about the legal system that surprised me.
things, like for example, you can get a fair trial in america but only if you communicate a certain way. and if you don't, you are in trouble and that was the genesis for the example of house rules where a kid with as berger's syndrome who is very libera lits not going to behave the way you would expect him to any court room or, for example, plain truth which is about the amish. our system of justice in america is all about individuality and we want to be the best, be the brightest. the amish are 180 degrees away from the way americans think. for them it's important to be part of a group than the individual and they will go to great pains to not stand out in any way. for that reason would say the bishop comes up to you and says you have rubber wheels on your tractor you have two weeks to get them off and we will need you to come and speak to the
congregation would say yes of course but even if you don't you say yes of course because that is still better than admitting in any way or defending yourself and standing out from the crowd as someone that is too passionate about something so imagine you are a normal american attorney with the amish girl who is accused of neo made aside she's going to say anything just to confess because that is how her culture has shaped her and that's another thing i write about. i remember thinking i would never be called to testify against my husband in a court of law but i could be called to testify against my own child i would be more likely to put my husband away than my kid, so i want to create that situation. if i write something legal, it's because i've learned something so crazy i feel the need to tell all of you about it. >> host: what would you hate to tackle? >> guest: i haven't found
anything yet. i actually thought it would be racist because i failed to write a book on racism for about 25 years. it wasn't until i realized that i wasn't writing a book to people of color. i have no right to do that as a white woman. i have not lived that life and i believe cultural appropriation is real and if i were to write a book about it a black person's life in america and taking a spot on the shelf a black author should have had. i was writing a book however to white americans to say open your eyes, and that is a little different and i did have a character of color bu but it involved me working very hard and very closely with about ten women of color who share their lives, their hopes and fears and failures with the and allowed me to take their existence and grade it into the character and event became my sensitivity readers to make sure i got nothing wrong. >> host: next call comes from whitney in denver.
>> caller: first of all, i am a huge fan and i've read every book you've written. i'm begging you to come to denver colorado soon, please. my questions are first what books to cuba's longest to write and what was the hardest for you to write? >> guest: it took me the longest and what was the hardest i would have to say they are probably the same an in its smal great things. because everyda every day i woup in my office typing and something would have been in the news there was a racially charged incident and i would say i've got to get that somewhere and i literally could have kept the open forever but at some point i had to stop and say okay this is my cutoff now and i'm going to finish the book and turn it in.
it also took a long time because of that but also because i myself had so much to learn i couldn't ask my readers to unpack my biases if i hadn't done it first. i went into this project thinking i am a nice person i am not prejudice. i learned a lot about myself. i learned i have been talked hat racism at the dinner table with my kids most of the time because i don't have to. a black family doesn't have that option, and i went to racial justice workshops and i left in tears every night listening to the stories of people of color who were telling stories that were denying. an asian-american woman who saw eyeliner as a standard of beauty because it is on american life models that have trouble putting it on her face and she was sobbing as she told the story, or the african-american woman who said everything she walks out of the door she has to put
on a mask so she can be the kind of woman other people can handle and death sentence but if you are a person of color you are constantly walking on a tightrope. that was stuff i didn't realize until i began to hear all these stories and hear them visceral viscerally. it completely changed who i am, how i see the world and how i live my life so that books and thbook meantthe most to me. >> host: let's make sure we got all the questions. which one was -- and i guess i'm going to build on her question -- which was the most emotionally wrenching? >> guest: they are all emotionally wrenching. >> host: you mentioned you cry a lot writing your books. >> guest: my sisters keeper was really hard, and it was hard because i was visiting parents with children who are dying. that's where i did my research. i went to memorial kettering and
i've watch the kids having their prom where they danced with iv poles between them, and there is so much that is so heartbreaking. i remember just sitting in these rooms and having these kids who would be completely engaged in the moment talking to me and the parents that have almost a mask on and when they walked outside fobefore their child could see them they just broke down. i remember a story of a woman who had a child with cancer who had seen another scan of her child's chest and fell to her knees because she said the tumor has come back and the doctor said no, that's your daughter's heart. >> host: pieper atlanta, good afternoon. >> guest:
>> caller: i'm so glad to get through. i was one of the women who was supposed to meet up with you when you came to spellman to do research on small great things, but if you recall what happened when you came down -- >> guest: i do. >> caller: one of our infamous rare snowstorms, and you got through to the campus, but i did not. you probably laughed at that storm. [inaudible] [laughter] yeah, that was awesome. my question has to do with the publishing industry. i'm glad to hear you speaking about these spaces where black people have not been and what you've learned from all of that etc. and that the industry is one of these spaces where black
women have had a hard time breaking through. so like i said i wonder since small great things but have you been doing to use your power as a best-selling author to rectify the circumstances? and who would you consider -- >> host: just a second we don't want to lose you. who would you consider your comp? [inaudible] >> host: comparable. paper, we can't let you go without telling us a little about yourself if you were scheduled to meet with jodi picoult as spellman in atlanta. how is it that you got to be part of this group?
>> caller: well, i am a professor there in the english department, and they want t wano some of us to come in and i think it was a lunch they were having a something like that she was going to talk to some students in addition to the woman who was our president at the time. when that e-mail came out, i was on it because i am a fan and a reader of starbucks. lots of women of color read jodi picoult's books, and i'm one of them. [inaudible] [laughter] >> host: pieper, thank you. is that one of the snowstorms that in the north we have to roll our eyes about the south -- >> guest: i still have ptsd about that. it was half an inch of snow. you don't understand my husband
was traveling with me and we actually had a car. we pulled out of the airport and i think we were going for miles per hour in our fourth hour of being stuck, i'm not kidding, being stuck on the highway. people just literally walked out of their cars, they just leave their car on the highway in atlanta and they just leave. we actually wound up reversing. weaver in a car with four wheel drive, a husband went the wrong way at an exit ramp and we started going down back streets where there were accidents everywhere. it was crazy in atlanta for the next day we were like we are going down to spellman college and we did. i'm so sorry that i didn't get to meet with paper because of early daniel was the president of the time and is an incredible woman and a terrific resource for me when i was writing small great things, she wound up pulling some kids that were on the campus to her home and so i did get to go and meet with at least a few students which was
great, including one who's become a good friend and a terrific writer herself, nick stone who writes fiction now and is a wonderful african-american young writer doing some great stuff in the community. so, yes actually pieper i'm still having ptsd from that. [laughter] so the question was what am i doing now. one of the things i do all the time when i give a talk is first of all, i absolutely address the white people in the audience and i instruct them not only on what not to do talking about racism because people do mak make a lof mistakes but also what they can do with some of the stuff i was talking about before, the idea calling out your racist uncle at thanksgiving when he makes a joke instead of just pretending you didn't hear it and educating yourself because it's not up to black people to educate white people. making sure you don't say things
like all lives matter because all lives can't matter until black lives matter and we know this from statistics. don't ai have black friends. you wouldn't want to be a representative of your race more than someone who does a bears. another thing is to again look at the bookshelf and ask yourself hard you reading authors of color and when they don't know who to read, i have a long list of people i can easily recommend. many of them are on my website. everyone from colton whitehead to justin moore to nick stone to angie thomas to broaden it to writers of different colors, christina henrique and is a belly and a. i could go on and on and on. i will decline however at trying to fix my comp, because i'm telling you when i read a book
like the mothers by brett bennett who is this amazing african-american female author who blew me away with her book last year. she's younger than i am and i wouldn't even begin to say your first book was as good as that one. i would never do that. i would be weary to put myself in competition with other offers. i'm just grateful there are so many incredible authors of color i get to read whose stories blow me away every time a. i remember cold and whitehead has been on social media talking about the fact he had a new book coming out and it's like i ordered it the minute i think that he announced it because i was so excited to read the next one. again i say all this time and i maintain if you look at your bookshelf and you are not reading authors of color you are not only missing out on some incredible stories, but you are not broadening your mind. >> host: i have to do a quick commercial for booktv and of course i've lost my paper, but
you've listed several people who've appeared on the tv. you can watch them in our archives at booktv.org. colson whitehead, doctor willie parker who had a book out on booktv. beverly tatum. they've all appeared on booktv. you can type their name in the search function at the top of the page, and you will be able to watch their presentations online. as we continue our conversations with jodi picoult, are we saying your next -- last name correctly? i've heard several pronunciations and onto make sure. cassie and lafayette indiana. >> caller: thanks for taking my call. i am a big fan, and i'm also excited -- are you there? >> host: we are listening, go ahead.
just listen through the telephone. we are listening to you. >> caller: i am the mother of three and also a teacher. one thing if i had a book i had an experience of a child protection caseworker where one of my young men that i was an advocate for later became a serial killer and so i wonder if -- i don't know all your books, but i was wondering do you have any books around that were would you be interested in that story at all? >> guest: thank you for that question. i do actually can i jump back to something we didn't answer to pieper that i want to say that's
important, she asked about the publishing industry and bias against writers of color and i did want to say she's absolutely right, and one of the problems is that the gatekeepers in the publishing industry are not agents of color. we are seeing more editors of color but we need to continue to row back. what i think is even more important though, since i wrote a small great things in the industry we've seen an explosion, let's say explosion with quotes around it of writers of color who are being successful in double-click the hate you give which is so awesome for angie thomas and such an amazing book, but we need to see that at the adult level first of all more of it and the other thing is we need to see it in a way that is not just like the african american arm oafrican-americanarm of a p. i think that the disservice that we do to writers of color is assuming only people of color
should be reading authors of color. it sounds a bit like that woman thing like when in reality white people should absolutely be reading about the experiences of black people in america and vice versa. that's what i hope the future brings i hope not only do we have more gatekeepers of color but that we start to see an integration and the fact that it's a good story and makes it something that should be publishable and not just going to a black imprint in particular. but now, on to kathy. i don't think i ever attend about a serial killer. i don't know that it would be the story that i would pick up necessarily. i don't know that it would be something i would dive into. i never say never, but i do get a lot of mail and contact from people that say i have a story i need you to write and especially because you were intimately involved in the case work of
this young man. hearing that from her point of view it's going to be more resonant an than if i were to create a piece of fiction around it so i encourage people even if you don't see yourself as a writer, sit down and try to write something about it and see what happens. you could always wind up hiring a ghost writer in some points. >> host: where does the term 19 minutes come from? >> guest: 19 minutes is a book i wrote about bullying and school shootings in america. 19 minutes is how long it takes peter in this book to go for this school and systematically killed about 20 people. >> host: do you identify more -- and again i'm putting you in these books and it's completely not fair, but more with alex or lacey? >> guest: i think i would probably identify more with alex is the mom of josie who is
peter's lifelong best friend from when he was little, and then as they got older, peter got to be a little more awkward and josie became a little more popular, their lives diverged. dwe see is peter's mom. the only way that i would say i'm more like alex is one thing i remember writing and i have done research with a judge because alex is a judge that this judge was telling me when she went to the grocery store on sunday, she had to make sure she wasn't wearing her sweat pants with holes in them and wasn't a mass and couldn't you let her kids when they were throwing things out of the shopping cart as a toddler because people see you as th that charge and you ts have to be the judge. that said, i've seen plenty of times in my town out with sweatpants in them and being
pretty down-to-earth. this is more make up that i've had on my face in six weeks. but on the other hand, the public persona and how it bleeds into your private persona is something i identify with alex. >> host: and you write that in the book 19 minutes. is senator jeanne shaheen a friend of yours? because she has a cameo in the book. >> guest: i didn't know her when i wrote about at all actually. i didn't know her in the least and then she actually -- we met together at a fund raiser in new hampshire that was raising money for women who were homeless and having job interviews, they were raising money to gather money for interviews and she interviewed me on the stage and it was like a million years ago. i can't remember how long ago it was. then my son who is in law school now ended up in turning for her when he was in college, so our paths have crossed multiple times.
i really respected her as a governor and as a senator from new hampshire. i am equally well acquainted with the junior senator from new hampshire who i had the privilege of having as an interviewer when i was in dc on the tour for spark of light. >> host: how much anonymity do you have as an offer? >> guest: i have none. i live in a small town and everyone kind of knows everyone anyway, so if you are known as that's the author, i will hear that a lot. if i want people to not know who i am i will just pull my hair back because this is what makes me pretty recognizable. >> host: we will take another call from center harbor new hampshire. >> guest: i know where that is. it's beautiful there. >> caller: hello. i was fascinated -- i love booktv and i watch it at all opportunities on the weekends but i was watching for a few minutes and i was granted do
some errands until you started into some of your books and mentioned medical ethics so i thought i would bring up the subject you may not have written about and i hope that you will look into it is routine neonatal circumcision. there's a couple films out. one is called the elephant in a hospital which is excellent. it's about 33 minutes. a more recent one is called american circumcision. and today as we speak there is a group called the bloodstained men which are a group active on facebook demonstrating in front of the american academy of pediatrics convention in orlando florida. thosof those who were involved n the movement considered a violation of human rights and there's a lot of older men who have felt damaged their entire lives and it's a very difficult subject to get through to the doctors. we are the only country in the
modern world that routinely circumcised as infants for nonreligious reasons. australia, canada and the uk used to do it but they looked at the facts and basically stopped. >> host: this is an issue that he would like to see jodi picoult look into as an offer? >> caller: yeah, i think she would be well-suited to look into it, especially because she mentioned the -- >> host: your books of great things -- >> guest: there is circumcision as a matter of fact. it's in there and it's one of the things that' that sort of ge plot rolling as a matter of fact because it flags as something that happens it is a sign of a bigger illness in this. again, it's really interesting as offers -- i wonder if the
author offers you have on get as many people saying you should write about this. i get them all the time, people write to me constantly with ideas and sometimes there've been times i'm like that would be a really interesting idea or something i'm already thinking about. i do find funny what makes it a good idea is something that intersects with my life in a wia certain point where i am worried about something, thinking about something, obsessing about something, something almost keeping me up at night. i can't say this is necessarily something i've given it a lot of thought to. perhaps in the future it will be something more prevalent in my thought process but there are other things right now keeping me up at night. >> host: i think i read a quote by you saying once i finish a book i start the next day on another one. >> guest: yes. if you want me to show proof? [laughter] at the end of a six-week book tour literally the day after i finished the last event, i'm
headed to yale to work on a book. we are going to be looking at a middle kingdom coffin that has the book of two waves. which is one of the texts from the middle kingdom egypt and we are going to work together so she can tommy how she would go about translating that and i am literally doing that on my way home from this book tour. >> host: help us with the theme of the book. >> guest: it is the book i will be working on next. who would you be if you are not who you are right now and what if your life had taken a fork in
a different direction, but if the ones that got away hadn't gotten away. the reason it has to do with ancient egypt many people have heard the book of the dead so that was a new kingdom text and it grew out of prior text like that from way back in the old kingdom and the middle kingdom of egypt and one was the book of two waves and it's painted on the botto bottom knot of many bs very beautiful, it's a very beautiful artistic representation of something that almost looks back a video game d it is the first digital interpretation we have of him after life and you can go one of two ways. you can go by air, and sorry,, y sea or by land and no matter which way you go you will wind up at the same place in the afterlife and so that metaphorically is tying into what i'm writing about.
>> host: so you are going to meet with a yale professor and some of the things you've done include watching on a movie set observed cardiac surgery, milked cows on an arm amish farm, but dna testing procedures come explore bone marrow transplants, have gone ghost hunting, spent more time in a jail, an arizona jail. >> guest: don't forget [inaudible] [laughter] >> host: early on in your career, was it a little more tough to get into these places? your name opens doors to send? >> guest: honestly, i have not changed the way that i approach research like in the 25 years i've been writing i write the same letters the only difference is now it is an e-mail i say my name is joe d. and i'm a
novelist i would like to shadow you, talk with you, whatever it is and then i say i will be calling you in hopes we can find a mutually convenient time. i am a good test and i keep going until someone picks up the phone. in all the years that i have been doing this, only once have i had a problem connecting with somebody for research and it was for keeping safe. everybody else likes to be an expert for the day that is what i discovered as long as you are willing to work on their schedule. >> host: the story of being kicked off the movie set for my sisters keeper. wersister's keeper. were you going and pretty hot were you angry at the time? >> guest: i did get permission to go back but it's like mommy and daddy are fighting, stay away from me. [laughter] >> host: paradise valley,
arizona. heidi, you are on the best-selling author jodi picoult. >> caller: and it's truly a pleasure. you have been a tremendous influence and inspiration over the many years that i've read your books. her books. in fact, i've read at least ten books. what's funny enough, we have a similar history growing up on long island, but i've had several experiences living my life in la for many years and really having write a trauma occur in the last ten years of my life. but i've been a writer but never at the level i would love toda. i know i've got what it takes. i have some wonderful opportunities to do it, but i always think to myself what you
do as an example that is my question is about really truthfully not just kind of a quick little one line answer but what exactly, how do you keep balance like how have you done this visit because you've gone from very well educated at princeton which im as well but with the idea that you came in and you are very disciplined it sounds like from the beginning so how do you keep your balance in your life having the ability to do so many things and focus. what are your writing hours how many do you write each day that you feel satisfaction? >> host: thanks for watching and for calling in. >> guest: it is not easy to be
published. if it was, everybody would be published. of course things have changed since i started out because now anyone can go and publish something online digitally if they want to. i think i personally do not endorse publishing for a lot of reasons. i think it's important to have the heft of a brick and mortar publisher behind you that can help market your book but that said that normally means you need an agent because most do not read unsolicited manuscripts. i had 10 100 rejections over 100 finally a woman who'd never represented anyone says i'm going to start an agency and i think i can represent you. and she's still my age in 30 years later. so, that is helping an add somef it is believing in yourself. it's set up to weed out those that don't have faith in
themselves. it can take years but if you keep thinking you have something to offer and you keep submitting it, eventually someone will take a second look and that maybe all yomay beall you need to stick w, but it's my first bit of advice. i don't think you have to be well educated to become a good writer i think you do need a workshop course so you can learn to get your self-criticis give d how to be your best critic goes at the two mosare the two most s a writer can have and once you know that you don't have to keep taking workshop courses anymore. for me i am incredibly organized the way i structure my day now whether it is promotion they were research they or a writing day i usually get up in the morning and i have, i exercise i go for a run or a walk with friends, come back and my husband makes me the best cup of coffee on the planet i answer fan mail for about an hour and
pull up whatever it is i'm writing, edited my way through and keep going and i stopped around 4:00 and go back downstairs and continue along with my other life. i am disciplined. i used to write in 15 minutes max every time my kids were watching tv or nursery school or napping and i used to bring my computer to swim practice and i would write anywhere i could because i didn't have a lot of time when my kids were little and i learned you can always edit a bad page but you can't edit a blank page and even after my kids went to school for eight hours a day and now as adults i still function in the same way i sit down and i write something i can fix later. >> host: is two pages could -- >> guest: i can have a great day writing an emotional three-page scene or i can have a great day writing 50 easy pages
of a trial. it depends what i'm writing. some people are like what is your word count and i don't check. i don't know. >> host: does dialogue come easy to you or is it one of the tougher areas? >> guest: is easy because i hear it. it's easy to explain how to create characters probably the hardest thing i can do because i feel as though they are speaking to me. i'm watching a movie none of you can see and i've always said it is like a successful schizophrenia because i get gets paid for listening to voices in my head. research helps me know what they are saying that the mannerisms, speech patterns, what's upsetting them, but they need to talk about this jus that is jusy head fully formed. >> host: jodi picoult has spent time at the department of
justice a vision that tracks down nazi war criminals and spend time in botswana with elephant researchers can't spend time with a psychic, shadowed an abortion provider observed multiple procedures that we get for reaction to this review. we rarely character data parents but instead we need mothers and fathers who try and fail to meet the current standards of caring for children people who affect the deepest concern who absorbed the therapeutic language of talk shows and women's magazines but who are unable to implement the idiom in an elaborate misfortune repeatedly conspired in the books to produce altogether new
horrors. what does that mean? >> guest: one of the beauties of writing fiction as i see it is taking ordinary people and placing them in extraordinary circumstances and then seeing what happens. i'd like doing that and i remember that review very much because i remember kind of casting my vote as bad parenting fiction it was a very strange label and i'm sure you could do a deep diet and see certain books that might fit that characteristic that there are many more that don't as well. >> host: handle with care came out in 2009. is charlotte o'keefe likable? [laughter] yes she is and i will tell you why. it's the story of wrongful
birth. that is a legal tactic that was pretty much invented in the united states and its one a. parent has a child with a profound disability and goes to court and testify us and says if my ob/gyn told me my child was going to have this disability i would have terminated the pregnancy and very often as a result of that, juries pay out millions of dollars to families. so here's the interesting thing i learned when writing this. the parents who go to court and say these things, they love these kids so much but because of our health care system, they don't have the funds necessary to make sure their child is going to live the best life possible so they go to court because it's a way to get money so the they can continue to take care of their kids which is a
terrible statement on the state of health care in america in and of itself but we have to invent a kind of lawsuit like this to create that kind of mistake that you need for a child with a disability. i read an article about that and i was fascinated by the concept of a parent getting up and saying that in court. most of the time the child they are talking about how such profound disabilities that they may not even understand what the parent is saying that i thought how interesting would it be if you got up to say that in court and your child might have a physical disability that mentally was 100% fair and so i found myself looking at osteogenesis imperfecta which affects more than 10,000 children born and is basically brittle bone syndrome and there are many different types and variations of the condition that you can have. type number three is the most severe that is also compatible with life, and kids who have
type three have dwarfism and they are usually about 3 feet tall and need multiple surgeries and will break hundreds of bones in a lifetime and they wind up with respiratory issues. it's a tough physical existence but mentally they are often smarter than their peers, great kids and i thought how interesting would it be to create a situation where a mom got up in court and said that about her child and the child could hear and what if the mom's ob/gyn was also her best friend. so, charlotte does the talking in court and yes i can see why she might be offputting to you i think she loves willow, her daughter, to access and honestly this is the only way she feels she can take care of her in a way that will keep her safe and sound past charlotte's own lifetime. i do not believe she goes about it the right way and i believe charlotte learns the ultimate lesson in the book without giving anything away.
>> host: looking back at my notes from handle with care to tie into our friend in atlanta. her best friend's name -- harper. [laughter] i thought of that as she called. >> host: i had forgotten. who is samantha? >> guest: my daughter as a matter of fact. so, she is my youngest and i had a great privilege of writing to young adult novels with her. when sammy was 13 she called me, i was on book tour in california and she said i think i have a really good idea for a book and i said let's hear it. she said what if every time a book was closed, the characters inside had lives and personalities different from the role they play in the book and what if there was a prince in a fairy tale who was so sick of being the prince in a fairytale that no one saw him as anything but until there was a 15-year-old girl on the outside wabut was shy and having a tough
time obsessed with the children's illustrated books because the prince was really attractive and what if one day he actually spoke to her and wanted out of her story as much as she wanted out of hers. i knew she was brilliant at that moment because who hasn't had a literary crush? i'm still waiting for mr. darcy to show up, and i thought that was such a terrific premise for a book i said let's work on this together and we spent three years writing it during her summer vacation we sat next to each other eight hours a day we took turns typing and meet talked every single word out loud we would say it back and forth across to each other and we finished the book when she was six team and we did a three continent book tour. she's the only person in my family that knows what that is like and she swore she would never write a sequel even though we set it up and sure enough in her freshman year she called me and she said i've been thinking
about sql and we wound up writing that when she had the timtimewhich was between ten and midnight over speakerphone and we went on to her for that as well and we had the great pleasure. and he's won many tony's and had been directed by jeff calhoun and we have an amazing songwriting team and book writer and we've had such a great time working as a family with them to turn this into a musical. >> host: we want to show you a little bit of you talking about working on the book. our live conversation with jodi picoult will continue after this. >> hello, i am jodi picoult. [laughter]
she just snorted. all i davis said my name. >> we are the authors of off the page. it's the story that we began writing about prince oliver was trapped in a fairytale and the reader on the outside who is able to get him out into the real world. what happens when your wish comes true can you still create happily ever after and more importantly how do you do with? >> guest: i think they learned my mother is incredibly weird. there was a moment i was seriously considering ditching her out the window. we did butt heads a lot but that
meant we were producing our best work at the moment which was really kind of cool. there are characters that are new to this book. you get to hear the story of different people and they were just kind of sideline characters and they are now suddenly in the forefront and i think that produced a better book. it came out funny in this twist on every page. it's very entertaining. it came out beautifully. >> host: we are back live with jodi picoult. we have about an hour left in the program with her this is the special fiction edition. we are in month 11 with
best-selling author jodi picoult whose new book a spark of life premiered at number one on "the new york times" bestseller list you can make a comment or question that way as well. 8200 if you live in east or central time zones, (202)748-8201 if you're in the mountain and pacific time zone and if you want to make a comment on facebook, twitter just remember@tv that is our handle. trivia question for you how many women have written? >> guest: when i started writing the series i was the second woman since 1941.
>> host: why? >> guest: that is a good question to put to them. i don't know why it took that long to get a female writer. i will tell you i think it made a difference. wonder woman who's been around since 1941 is a remarkable character. she is as strong as superman, 6 feet tall, intelligent and charismatic, can fly and has a lasso of truth god knows we can use that these days. there's so many wonderful things about her but i think it's also important to say she was huge when she debuted because prior to her arrival, the only women characters in comic books were secretaries or betty and veronica fighting over a guy. ..
. >> there is a belief a woman should be strong but not too strong because if she is she is intimidating to men and not relatable to women. that's like politics. when i went to write her i did not want her vulnerability to come from something physical the way it has been handled in the past by men and instead i thought about her origin origins, unlike superman does not have that us human family she comes from amazon so she
loves him and so she is not one of them so there's already a disconnect. also this is a woman who in disguise is working trying to maintain that disguise and cares about balancing herself and her work and family and friendships who does that sound like? a lot of women and that's the way to make her relatable but making her emotionally vulnerable. so that's what i tried to write into my theory that she had some money issues. [laughter] it was totally and absolutely unique to me. i was approached by dc comics after my book that had the comic book embedded in it i didn't have time i went downstairs but i can do it my kids all looked at me and said you totally have to write wonder woman. i'm incredibly proud of that series it was fun to
collaborate and work with the edit - - the editor to help create that visual image of that story. it was an experience unlike anything else i have ever done. i really loved writing in context. that was my first foray of writing a comic book when with my daughter was a little different i had the great honor of working with this creative team with a musical so much so i decided i want to continue know we're in the process of turning the book thief into a musical which is not even my book. [laughter] >>host: who did the illustrations? . >> a lot of people they have six different artist so that
book was taken from five different issues that we put together called love and murder but my favorite illustration is the fifth story where the amazons invade america someone i directed that looks a lot like me. she's a redhead with curls and is kicking batman's but. so i have a little cameo. [laughter] >>host: going back to our colors thank you for holding. >>caller: i have a question about your real life protesters and abortions before roe versus wade abortions did - - doctors did abortion secretly into cash
payment but this was before the internet do you think this would happen again if it is reversed with the technology today to highlight and find out that republican voting doctors are doing abortions for many? . >> i don't know i think if roe versus wade is overturned going to the state level those eight states that only have one single surviving clinic will lose those immediately many states in the bible belt and in the south will follow suit and then you are at the mercy of your zip code rich women could travel across state lines women of color predominately will be affected which i think is completely unfair. i don't know who the abortion providers will become in the deep south i honestly can answer that question but i can tell you with authority that abortions will continue to
happen illegally and i imagine they probably will be unsafe because it's in secret in places where health care is not a priority. >>host: where did the book keeping faith come from? . >> it was a conversation of my oldest son when he was five years old riding his bicycle up our driveway in circles and comes around and says who's god? a little tiny question for me to answer. i would describe myself as agnostic or atheist and i said some people believe god is someone who is up above us watching over everyone to keep them safe he does another loop. and he said like a babysitter. i said yes that is kind of what he likes. and he said all of my babysitters are girls.
and i thought what if there was a little girl who suddenly said she saw god and saw her as a female? so i decided i would write that book. >>host: did you see a book in your head right at that point? . >> yes. my impetus for keeping faith was to offend all religions equally when i was writing it because i knew i would be chipping away at a lot of dogma i interviewed priest and evangelical pastors, tent revivals i remember interviewing a priest and said why is that catholics only see the virgin mary? he said i don't know that's a really good question so everyone i spoke to was wonderful until i had to find a rabbi i went to the
interfaith chaplain at dartmouth. it was a rabbi very nice. i walked in before i could even say one word about my plot he said if you write this book you will perpetuate myths and truths that have dogged judaism over 5000 years i had not even said anything yet. basically he did not want to talk even though he said he what i found out three days later he was leaving the university with some big thing going on in his life. i still needed a rabbi. i found a woman who was a catholic who converted to judaism has her own congregation in philadelphia and is a lesbian. she was wonderful one of the facts that she came up with that one of the words for god in hebrew means the hill god or the mountain god but
another very closely related word means breath so she was so great i went back for every book if i need something particularly religious relating to judaism. >>host: after the book was published, what did your team of priests and evangelical say? . >> everybody got a copy i think they felt it was done honestly but it was the nature of police the character you mentioned earlier one of my all-time favorite characters is the opposite of a televangelist he is a television atheist he winds up on the front lawn of her house and her daughter faith is seeing god and things happen that he can explain so he questions his own beliefs and ultimately that is why i wanted to write this because i think sometimes religion goes
from holy to holier than thou and we see that with politics and religion it is amazing to me what 2018 looks like when our founding fathers created this country to be separate they meant for religion and politics to stay sharply divided i don't understand have got into bed with each other so fiercely except those campaign finance reform laws. [laughter] so that took more than one book to attack that when i wrote change of heart, one of the things i came back to was religion again that is also about the death penalty in america that a man who is on death row and decides to redeem himself before he dies he needs to donate to his heart to the sister of his victim who needs a heart transplant. that doesn't create good press
so they call in a priest and he begins performing miller one - - miracles on death row. people are starting to see him as a messiah except what he says do not come from any bible quotation you come - - you know, but they come from the agnostic gospel thomas that was not chosen to be from christianity. >>host: so reading these books you are pretty deep into theology. >> yes. you have to be. >>host: you spent a lot of time researching. is there people who are quoting the bible who have not been exposed? . >> i remember talking to er physicians and said what wouldn't you see with an
injury in the hand so we had to create that in reverse but people who have bled from those places and that is considered so. >>host: were your views ever challenge writing these books? with any topic? that what i will say is that i have become a more confirmed nonreligious person because of the research i have done it in particular with change of heart learning about the agnostic gospel and learning the history behind christianity is so fascinating
but when you live in the vacuum you miss all of the history behind it and to recognize in the years after christ literal death christianity was a hot mess people all over the place called themselves christians believing very different things. the agnostics were one of those groups they believed in self-knowledge to be close to god you have to find the part inside he was divine the priest could not tell you. it is different for everyone. that was threatening to others who call themselves christians. and the gospel of john and for that reason with those four
pillars of christianity. and with the editorial decision. what is within you will destroy you and will help you or heal you? and interesting stuff. that did not make it into the final cut of the bible and it's important to think about that when you think a book about gay rights to acknowledge what is thrown out
as conservatives of god being against homosexuality the word homosexuality translated from the greek word that nobody knows what it really means and scholars actually think it doesn't mean homosexual that was a translation in the sixties but someone who paid for prostitutes. so when you unpack the actual language of what some people say is the word of god that it's a little more complicated than that. i am fascinated how few people. . >> hello. you are there. first and foremost, thank you so much for advocating for
higher education which leads me to a question i've contemplated over the last 32 years when and do i tell them about tragic things in my life that help them to understand me but i feel that they are so injurious i cannot hurt them i have a hard time figuring out when it is time to tell them about those things. >> that's a hard choice for me to make on your behalf not knowing your life or your sons but what i will say is that sometimes the beauty of
fiction or film if that allows you to gain entrance into a topic that might be hard to talk about if you think it's easier to find a book or a movie or something that resonates with what you've experienced with your kids and then start a conversation about it. and somehow slide in from that make-believe world into what you have experienced for real. i would like to believe your kids at this age would certainly give you the benefit of the doubt as the mother to understand why you may not have told them something earlier but they are old enough to support you. >>host: the next call is from new york. >>caller: first of all, this
is a fabulous show. it is food for the brain. i love it. thank you for hosting. also thank you to jody. i loved 19 minutes because of the perspective not the victims but the perpetrator. always when i watch the news i think that poor family. but then i think what about his mother or father? and being a mother i know how that could go. and i think it is brilliant that you did it from that perspective. and i cannot tell you how much i love your books. because they are from different perspectives. and i always believe in food
for thought and the power of words. i think that vocabulary can make or break a conversation and it can make a break - - make or break a person. that's all i have to say. it's a pleasure. >>host: did you sympathize with the lady in 19 minutes? >>caller: yes. the ending of the book which i will not say i was hysterically crying. hysterical. . >> it goes back to what we said before nobody is all good or all bad. it is simplistic in my mind to say parents create bad kid to do was school shooting i think it is much more interesting to think what if the parents have
been good and engage still wind up with a kid who was so hurting and broken and starts shooting? that is a much more interesting story so i chose to tell it from that perspective. i do think that book is the one i'm the most proud of it is used as curriculum and a lot of schools. i have learned and i have spoken at many schools about gun violence and this year alone 294 mass shootings and 64 were in schools. we can do better. i firmly believe gun control is a big part of it. there are ways to have dom - - common sense gun reform but second amendment people that say it's not true but there is no reason for a civilian to
have an ar 15 and no reason not to have background checks and longer waiting periods in mississippi you have a longer waiting period for an abortion then to buy a gun and that is problematic. one of the stories i love about 19 minutes i was in the school all the kids had read it i gave a little presentation and talked about the research and working with columbine police and the counselors. we were told to tell every parent yours was the first to die and did not suffer them they all learned they were lied to and talk to other survivors who had a friend die when a 15 -year-old started shooting and killed to.
and what he experienced in the aftermath of that. when i was talking about that i offered the floor for questions and one boy stood up he said i just wanted to say that i brought a gun to school on october i was going to kill people that day but this is the book i got and that's why didn't kill anyone. the principal did not know what to say another set i came home one day i was in tears i said i am invisible in school nobody who notices who i am or sees me i told my mom i wanted to kill myself. she was so upset she ran out of my room crying i opened my backpack and 19 minutes was my english homework that night
and that's why i'm alive today. you don't think about changing a life of real people with fiction but it happens and more often than you would think. it is absolutely humbling and the coolest thing of my career. >>host: our last caller would not give away the ending we won't for any of the books because you put a little seeing into them. but with this question. >> know i'm not giving anything away but jodi picoult and a spark of light does he know? . >> know he does not. . >> and i don't think he will know for many, many years. 's and everybody has to go get the book to find out what we are talking about.
. >> the next color from california. >>caller: i am such a fan i have a lending library i make everybody read them in my salon. i'm a mother of two girls one who wants to be a writer good willing - - god willing so thanks for talking about suggestions that you said you talk the - - ideas come from what others worry about. i literally grew up almost reading one book a day. i just love books. so my concern is my future non- born grandchildren with
social media and people don't interact and the bullying and i feel that we are losing humanity. do you ever think about that or how that affects the future generation or literacy? i am really concerned. they cannot even go to dinner without picking up their phone. do you think about that? . >> yes. great questions. they are two different questions. what i would say as a former eighth-grade teacher it is important to teach kids how to love to read not what they should be reading and one thing i remember as a teacher trying to identify that for every kid it could be a classic novel for one person but somebody else it could be sports statistics and all of that is valid literature. it all enhances a child to love to pick up this - -
something to read. you have to get outside of your own ideas i want my daughter to read and of green gables that may not be her thing if she loves reading eventually she may come around but that is something that is important. social media and bullying is our very real concern. what i came across with my research bullying has changed so much when i was a kid i was in fourth grade then you meet outside on the baseball field and wrestle with them. nobody does that anymore. it's all through text and snap chat and social media. there was a website at one point kids were set up to humiliate a bunch of girls. but with social media it takes
away personal responsibility you don't have to look at them in the face and still affect hurt with words. and that is an issue it is something i call kids out for when i talk about 19 minutes. they tell me often they would treat anyone the way peter was treated and i said would use it with him in the cafeteria? that's important for kids to realize in action is also an action and they have to make the choice to make the connection especially all live social media and devices and then to keep us in our cubicles to disconnect us. that said my family will be the first to tell you i am wildly addicted to my own phone i think about it all the time how do we ever get through life without having a phone and everything at our fingertips? but there has definitely been a cost and i remember talking
to a friend of mine who is a psychology professor who help me do research for several books and we talked about kids today don't know how to knock on the door to sadie want to go grab dinner? because we set up their play dates they are all on social media waiting to see if people are in the cafeteria to take the personal step is very difficult. i don't know the answer to that definitely it has pros as well but it's important to call people out on bullying even through social media i write everybody who writes me back everybody who writes me a fan letter on e-mail gets a response from me even if they write hate mail. i do it because i want them to know there is a human being at
the computer and that is important. >>host: what do they say in hate mail? [laughter] . >> it usually base specifically what the book is about. so with small great things a lot of mostly white men telling me you are a race traitor. how dare you say i'm racist. i have black friends. and all i could think is maybe you should reread the book. but i always take the time to explain very calmly and clearly i understand what you are sayin saying. i will phrase it this way and try again to model the lesson i try to present. sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. you can please everyone all the time and that's okay. my favorite piece of hate mail came from a man in cleveland
and he wrote to me his name is hank i woke up to this e-mail that said justice kavanaugh should read your book because he will change his mind about abortion that won't happen because he's a devout catholic and this is none of your business so take your ridiculous pearls and shove them. i laughed really hard when i got that e-mail. i wrote him back instead of guessing you have not read my book. actually this is my business and i like my curls. it was just a silly piece but on the other hand, it has a real undercurrent that i talk about when i talk about this piece of mail i say who in the audience is a woman has not had a man who wants to cut her down make fun of her looks?
that's easiest way for a man to chop a woman down it happens all the time. >>host: the next call from rhode island. >>caller: i just want to say i am a huge fan. the first time i was exposed to one of your books i have a coworker who said have you ever read any book by jodi picoult? she had a copy of my sisters keeper. i read it in two days and i fell in love with it and then i backtrack so i am wondering i am that old henry. is that how you write? that you drive that story the
holy cow moment? i love it. your characters are so complex do you have that in mind when you're actually writing your book? . >> first of all, that's a tremendous complement it's nice to be compared to o-letter henry. i don't usually write with that in mind. i would say for me my characters drive the story as much as the plot but i try to keep a balance. but it's fun for me to have a twist and be able to lead you through the text see you can go back to the beginning to see what you have missed. >>host: some of the favorite books of what you are reading now? life of pi, .
>> that is a very different book. that's the book that made me want to be a writer so there are some serious issues with implicit racism that taken as an encapsulated story i remember reading the book when i was 13 but i loved it because here's a girl from suburban new york i could absolutely feel it around me. and i remember that moment and i stopped and thought i could do that. that's the first time i thought of myself being a writer in the long-term.
so that's always really special to me. the light one - - the life of pi is the biggest love letter i was absolutely blown away it's not a book is not a kid on a raft on with the bengal tiger but the power of stories and who it belongs to. the writer or "the reader" and what does that look like? i remember reading i wish i had written that. i was jealous i did not think of that.
and the book thief with the flow of his language it is so overwhelming like you were laying there and it is so brilliant the power of words to hurt and heal and i love that book so much i wanted to turn into another artform which is why i'm turning into a musical. >>host: does a story belong to you or to us? . >> a little bit of both. how many times have you gone back to book that you have left - - you have loved that it's a whole new book because you are now as a person you are different and now you see this differently. the characters are unique.
that is magical that the text can stay the same but what you bring to the table the experience is different. that is a phenomenal thing. i feel like i am contributing as the writer. there is a line in between the lines the writer makes it a house but "the reader" makes it a home. >>host: here is a quotation from the guardian i chose to be a commercial author because i knew i would write the same kind of book the same quality of writing no matter what i wrote i wanted to reach more people the cap yacht? i will never win the nobel prize for literature i will never even be nominated for a book award.
>> there is an artificial rift between commercial fiction and it is a marketing decision 20 years ago when i first started it really was a decision do i want to be considered a literary author or commercial author? literary authors write a book every ten years commercial authors reach more readers and write more frequently and to be honest i could take a very deliberate decision to be a commercial author and i said i want people to read it if you write quickly and efficiently people think you cannot be writing well. people who are masters of the artform are taking a decade between books. sometimes that's true there are some wonderful writers who take ten years but there are
also some really wonderful writers who write frequently and are considered commercial because of their frequency. i have seen plenty of national book award finalist who write books that i would call so much character and very little happens and the language may be beautiful and it works for a lot of people but there is great merit to someone who can tell a story and do it in a way to get you to think compassionately to foster empathy. also gender gap plays in there because if a man writes a book that includes family it is a great american novel but if a woman does it it is romance or women's fiction. >>host: you sent out a tweet. [laughter] "new york times" jonathan's
new book is anyone shocked i would love to see "the new york times" rave about authors who are not white mail literary darlings. >> it was a slow news day that day. because it wasn't just his first review it was the third. and i thought that was a little excessive we only have so much print space and there are a lot of great authors out there who are not jonathan franzen. so another writer jumped on the bandwagon and said yes there is gender discrimination so we were at the forefront of that for a while and we were told we should write better stories and more compelling stories. maybe then you get book awards why are they not considered seriously but why do they bellyache?
but all of those pejorative terms like i said but then we crunch the numbers to say we have statistics now there is discrimination in publishing not to say he's not a terrific writer. he is but there are women who are equally as great. >>host: how many languages have your books then translated? . >> around 35 or 40. it's a lot and maybe around 15 or 16 million but i will be totally onto one - - honest i don't keep track it is incredible i thought the only person by my books was my mother and her friends and she doesn't have that many friends. [laughter] . >> a spark of light jodi picoult just came out a couple weeks ago her newest book. prior to that, small great things. off the page.
2015. next in 2014. than the story teller 2013. those are her most recent but there is a total of 26 the first ever was 1982 songs of the humpback whale. . >> that was a beast of a book it is about a mother and a daughter and the relationship that they have. the mother is in an emotionally abusive relationship with her husband and winds up taking her daughter to go cross country where her brother lives in california. her husband is a whale researcher studying the songs of whales and what we learn is that the male whales sing to
the women whoever has the best song gets the girl so the structure of the book was very complicated we had the mother telling the story forward and then the next one telling a backward then intersecting in them middle with three parallel narratives three men in her life. and then her brother and husband as they all try to convince her to come back. structurally it was a nightmare more than brain cells that i had i was closer to the daughter than the mom at the time i wrote that. >> this was the book turned down? . >> no. i road at princeton three seasons it was like writing a novel with training wheels i was under the tutelage who taught me everything that i know as a writer and as a
creative thesis she help me with that. and then use that to get an agent with 100 rejections but i kept writing. and then signed me but then sold that book in that. so nobody has read developments but i think it's in the firestone library is probably buried somewhere. >>host: our next caller is on the line. >>caller: hello. thanks for taking my call. hello. i am so glad to have known you were going to be on today and i am watching the show. i have read most or all of
your books. but to see and listen to you today i have to tell you i am so impressed with you and that you are beautiful and incredibly bright. not that i thought you were stupid before. you are a real thinker and well spoken. and i just quickly have to tell you before i ask you my question, one of my girlfriends and i each have a jodi picoult section on our bookshelf in each of our houses. >> i love that. >>caller: so two quick questions. we have been mispronouncing your name for the last 25 years.
would it be too tacky if you were on one of your back of your book in parentheses how to pronounce your last name? [laughter] . >> 25 years we got on the phone together and we said we have been saying your name wrong. >> if you are even trying to say my name i am happy. >> the pronunciation so it sounds like pee-koh.
>> yes. >>caller: why do you have your department? just move into the library. i have so many books. and jonathan kellerman. stephen martini. and a bunch of biographies. and memoirs because now i'm into that. i cannot think of all the others. there are so many. >>host: thank you for calling in. i appreciate it. >> very sweet. i have always said if you try to pronounce my name i am happy i don't care how you butcher it as long as you are trying even my own husband
will pronounce the t because he knows people will find me because that's how they expect that to sound. if i would do a pronunciation thing in the back but there was a website that was created were authors who were invited to call in and speak their name then a student could go to the website and click on it and hear how they pronounce the author's name that could still be out there somewhere. i don't know what that is. >> see you have some guidance how we pronounce that here is a tweet. i haven't read her books but i'm watching her speak and i'm very interested. where do i start? we also got that e-mail as well. >> that's an interesting question. i think of my book substantially different from each other. i would encourage you to go to my website.
jodi picoult.com and just look and find the one that interest you the most they are all about moral and ethical dilemmas there may be one that speaks to you more than another. so that is what i would suggest to begin with. i am partial to small great things i think everybody in america should read. and spark of light. but i say again there are so many different issues pick one that you like. >>host: you have opinions when you express those on social media but in your books you express them? is there more than one opinion? . >> absolutely that's the whole point of writing a controversial issue to make sure every point of view is
accurately represented even if i vehemently disagree with i will make sure. and with the gay rights and gay parenting with exodus international with jesus christ you can choose not to be gay they go through conversion therapy. so when i was writing that book my son came out to me now i wasn't writing something theoretical that a mom on a mission. and one of the things i talked about with this woman do you worry some of that rhetoric you use that actually inspired
hate crimes lgbtq people? and she said it doesn't. >> i said have you heard of matthew shepard? she said who? i said give me a minute i had to go into the bathroom and calm myself down because i was so angry in that moment because my journalist hat and my mom had came back on for purposes of the book i had to finish that interview and create that point of view and that is fair i cannot even tell you how opposed to that point of view that i am but it is in the book. >>host: this is melissa who sent tweets being a teenager with the school shootings this
is hard i will try again when there's no further possibilities. >> i have three children who are public school teachers right now. my daughter teaches fourth grade and part of her masters program involved learning what to do during an active school shooting. they gave every teacher a rubber doorstop that stop somebody from coming in for special needs students to make sure you have headphones or an ipad to distract a child into being quiet if they need to be. this is part of a masters curriculum of education makes me absolutely sick. america can do better than that. >>host: new york you are on the air. >>caller: good afternoon i have been watching all
afternoon. . >> and my daughter and my two granddaughters i have two younger grandchildren but then to get them interested but they are not interested. what can i do? . >> how old are they? eleven and 14. boys or girls? . >> girls give them a copy of between the lines. start their. that is exactly the right age between 11 and 14 and i will hammer home whatever your grandkids are into even if it
sports find out what resonates if one of them loves comic books that is in a pictorial formats. there are so many different ways to read that don't take the form of a classic novel that could have been force-fed when we were younger. try to inspire for them it could even be a magazine it could be anything but what you want to do is to broaden out eventually. >>host: how did your parents get you into reading? . >> she is my biggest fan and one of the things she's to do
is go to the public library and come home with books like this and read them. i wanted to be like her i started reading at three years old i still remember the day i knew how to sign my name and i could get my library card. i did and i brought home a big stack of books just like my mom. and so that is what is important. and that's a great thing to model. and then to do the same. so my mom was the big reader i wanted to be just like her.
>>host: please go ahead we have a few minutes left. >> oh my gosh i'm enjoying this on the telephone. now i can hear the real one now. what's the favorite book you read ever or that you are writing or have written? . >> it's hard for me to pick a favorite book because i have had so many favorite books that we talk about before alice hoffman i thought that was interesting is never easy and that i was a devoted fan when i used to read a book
called the paperback princess turns a fairytale on a tear creating a strong female princess character who needs nobody and i use to read that to my daughter i like to think that made her who she is today. different points in my life i had many different favorites. that's okay. so my current favorite book is small great things because of the effect it had on me. >>host: also took you 25 years to write that. >> i had a lot of false starts i couldn't write about it the way i wanted to because it wasn't my story to tell the way i was telling it and not until i began to think the role of the allies how not to be a savior and take up space to write a story that belongs to a person's color but rather
to someone that looks like you to say this is what you need to see that is an important role to fill in literature and i'm glad i could do it. >>host: you are currently reading a book? . >> i don't know why because i'm angry enough watching the news to be honest this is a dystopian world where women have a bracelet counter they are only allowed to speak so many words per day so you have to be very careful what you can say you cannot read or do anything that has to do with the transmission of information. it feels like a slippery slope sometimes. >>caller.
and talking about kavanaugh i was just curious if you wanted to comment on that? >>host: i apologize we are out of time. so we will have jodi picoult and the interview where we began with the opening question you said justice kavanaugh should read your new book. >> because i think it does a serviceable job to show the real women who have to make a decision about reproductive health care about terminating a pregnancy and it also shows the risk that we will lose if roe v wade is overturned and the health care the reason women use clinics that disappears when those clinics disappear and what i would really like is for him to
revisit his original views on abortion and listen to other women. >>host: the last three hours we have been talking with best-selling novelist jodi picoult over her 26 books the most recent a spark of light a book tv special fiction addition of in-depth. next month author brad meltzer thank you for being here. . >> thanks for having me. >>host: