Authors: Jodi Picoult
For Melanie Borinstein, soon to be the newest member of our family.
There’s no one else I’d rather run a quarantine salon with.
I’m known for being a fast writer, but I think I broke a land-speed record with this book. It would not have been possible without the help of the following people:
For refreshing my memory about the Galápagos: Ian Melvin, Karen Jacome, Ernesto Velarde. (NOTE: Although Isabela Island did indeed close to visitors, it happened on March 17, 2020—not March 15, as in this book. That’s my fictional prerogative, rather than the failure of my experts!)
For insight into what it was like to work as a medical professional during Covid: Dr. Barry Nathanson, Dr. Kim Coros, Dr. Vladislav Fomin, Carrie Munson, Kathleen Fike, Meghan Bohlender, Dr. Grecia Rico, Dr. Ema-Lou Ranger, Dr. Alli Hyatt, Dr. Samantha Ruff, Meghan Summerall, Kendal Peters, Megan Brown, Lewis Simpson, Stefanie Ryan, Jennifer Langford, Meagan Campuzano, Dr. Francisco Ramos.
For sharing her imaginary town with me (and for her openness, her honesty, and her wonderful talent as a writer): Caroline Leavitt.
For helping me kill someone via scuba: Christopher Crowley.
For frantic texts about New York City and the geography of Central Park: Dan Mertzlufft.
For teaching me about art therapy, and adolescents who self-harm: Dr. Sriya Bhattacharyya.
For teaching me about art, art business, and creating a remarkably convincing faux Toulouse-Lautrec (and also for loving my son Jake): Melanie Borinstein.
For being survivors, and for their candor about what it’s like to have severe Covid: Vicki Judd, Kabria Newkirk, Caroline Coster, Karen Burke-Bible, Chris Hansen, Don Gillmer, Lisa and Howard Brown, Felix Torres, Matt Tepperman, Shirley Archambault, Alisha Hiebert, Jennifer Watters, Pat Conner, Jeri Hall, Allison Stannard, Sue McCann, LaDonna Cash, Sandra and Reggie McAllister, Teresa Cunningham, Katie White, Lisa Dillon, Nancee Seitz.
For introducing me to tsunami stones: Dr. Daniel Collison.
For plotting fictional deaths while on insufferable hills, and for being in my Covid walking bubble: Joan Collison, Barb Kline-Schoder, Kirsty DePree, Jan Peltzer.
For encouraging me to write this when I kept saying I probably shouldn’t, and/or for reading early drafts: Brigid Kemmerer (who is the
critique partner), Jojo Moyes, Reba Gordon, Katie Desmond, Jane Picoult, Elyssa Samsel.
Now on to the MVPs of publishing. Creating a book takes a long time. It’s not just the writing, it’s the editing and copyediting and design and marketing and placement and all the other things that have to happen so you can read it. One day in March I showed up in my editor’s inbox with an email that said,
Surprise, here’s a book I never planned to write!
Jennifer Hershey, who is the world’s most brilliant editor and fiercest cheerleader, reacted in the best possible way: she loved the book, and she wanted to publish it while we were all still trying to wrap our heads around this past year. My agent/friend/partner-in-crime, Laura Gross, was equally instrumental in achieving this Herculean feat. My publicist, Susan Corcoran, has the biggest heart and the sharpest mind and I would not do any of this without her by my side. And then there is the rest of the well-oiled Ballantine machine, which made this publication possible in record time: Gina Centrello, Kara Walsh, Kim Hovey, Deb Aroff, Rachel Kind, Denise Cronin, Scott Shannon, Matthew Schwartz, Theresa Zoro, Kelly Chian, Paolo Pepe, Erin Kane, Kathleen Quinlan, Corina Diez, Emily Isayeff, Maya Franson, Angie Campusano. You are my army, and that makes me feel invincible.
Endless thanks to the family that kept me sane when I was crawling the walls this past year: Kyle and Kevin Ferreira van Leer, who did the
New York Times
crossword and Spelling Bee with me daily; and Four Square Team Extraordinaire Sammy and Frankie Ramos, Jake van Leer and Melanie Borinstein.
Finally, thanks to the only guy I’d want to be stuck in an enclosed space with for over 365 days: Tim van Leer. Even though you edited my grocery lists to make them healthier, I will love you forever, no matter what world we’re in.
Wish You Were Here
The Book of Two Ways
A Spark of Light
Small Great Things
Sing You Home
Handle with Care
Change of Heart
The Tenth Circle
My Sister’s Keeper
Harvesting the Heart
Songs of the Humpback Whale
Off the Page
Between the Lines
Over the Moon: An Original Musical for Teens
Breathe: A New Musical
is the author of twenty-seven novels, with forty million copies sold worldwide. Her last twelve books have debuted at #1 on the
New York Times
bestseller list, including her most recent,
The Book of Two Ways
. Five novels have been made into movies and
Between the Lines
(co-written with daughter Samantha van Leer) has been adapted as a musical. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction, the Alex Award from the YA Library Services Association, and the New Hampshire Literary Award for Outstanding Literary Merit. She is also the co-librettist for the musical
and the upcoming musical
The Book Thief
. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband.