Jodi Picoult discusses Asperger syndrome and her new novel, House Rules

Zack Smith · 5 Mar 2010, 6:08 PM · Comment
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Jodi Picoult (Photo by Gaspar Tringale)

On the phone about her appearance at Meredith College on March 8, Jodi Picoult is friendly, bubbly and frequently laughing. There’s no indication of the misery and tragedy visited upon the characters in her best-selling novels, including My Sister’s Keeper, Handle With Care and her latest, House Rules, which hit bookstores on Tuesday.

Picoult’s novels often involve such horrors as school shootings, execution, infanticide, date rape, sexual abuse, suicide pacts and more. The tales frequently combine courtroom drama with deeply flawed characters that don’t always make it through the story intact. (On the other hand, last year’s film of My Sister’s Keeper angered many fans of the book by cutting the last tragic twist, something Picoult says she was unhappy about.)

Though she’s closer to her characters than anyone else, Picoult has few qualms about what they go through in each book. “I don’t really feel bad about it, though very often I want to slap them. I want to say, ‘God, can’t you see the bigger picture?’” Picoult says with a laugh. “I wish they’d make better decisions, but if they did, I wouldn’t have much of a book.”

Read our full interview with Picoult here!