|Jodi Picoult (pronounced pee-KOE) is a remarkably prolific writer of riveting topical fiction, whose books became a mainstay on bestseller lists worldwide during the first decade of the 21st century. Picoult was born (in 1966) and raised on Long Island in New York, and spent her high school years in New Hampshire before attending Princeton University. She certainly made the most of her undergraduate years: she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, had her first two short stories published in a major magazine, and graduated magna cum laude. Perhaps more importantly, Picoult fell in love with a fellow student named Tim van Leer, who became her husband and the father of her three children. Despite her early writing success, Picoult did not immediately consider a career as an author. She actually worked for a Wall Street brokerage until the crash of 1987, and later as an eighth grade English teacher, before she went to Harvard to get her Masters degree in education. Picoult wrote her first novel, SONGS OF THE HUMPBACK WHALE, while she was pregnant with her first child, and she has not looked back since, publishing an average of one novel per year between 1992 and 2009. Her novels, including number one bestsellers such as NINETEEN MINUTES and MY SISTER'S KEEPER, typically involve characters faced with seemingly impossible ethical decisions, which are revealed from multiple points of view. She has some very real experience in such situations, as her son Jake was diagnosed with an extremely rare double case of cholesteatoma, a growth of tumors in both ears, which threatened to leave him deaf or worse. Picoult and her family opted for an experimental procedure which required more than a dozen operations, but Jake made a full recovery and regained his hearing in both ears. In addition to her novels, in 2007 Picoult enjoyed a short but very successful run writing for the comic book Wonder Woman.