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The Craft of Writing: Jodi Picoult & Mary Morris

December 6, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

The Craft of Writing: 
A Journey of Imagination, Research and Transformation

Thursday, December 6
7:30 PM Wine Reception
8:00PM Discussion and Q&A
$10 for members; $20 for guests

Join us for what is sure to be a lively discussion on the craft of writing with bestselling novelist Jodi Picoult and acclaimed writer Mary Morris, Picoult’s former creative writing professor at Princeton.

Jodi Picoult is the bestselling author of twenty-five novels, including her newest novel A Spark of Light, published on October 2, 2018, a powerful and provocative new novel about ordinary lives that intersect during a heart-stopping crisis at a women’s health center. In this work, Jodi turns her keen storytelling eye fearlessly to another divisive issue: abortion rights and the decent people arrayed on all sides who are wrestling toward mutual understanding.  There are currently approximately 14 million copies of Jodi’s books in print worldwide, translated into 34 languages in 35 countries. Four of her novels—The Pact, Plain Truth, The Tenth Circle and Salem Falls have been made into television movies.  My Sister’s Keeper”, starring Cameron Diaz, was a big-screen film release.

Jodi’s last ten novels, including her highly acclaimed novel, Small Great Things (2016), have debuted at number one on The New York Times bestseller list.  She also wrote five issues of the “Wonder Woman” comic book series for DC Comics.  Between the Lines, a book she co-wrote with her daughter, Samantha van Leer, is scheduled to make its Off Broadway debut in Summer 2019.

Jodi is ranked in the “top ten” of Princeton’s 25 most influential living alumni and has received numerous awards for her writing. As The Boston Globe wrote, “Picoult is a skilled wordsmith, and she beautifully creates situations that not only provoke the mind but touch the flawed souls in all of us.”

Mary Morris who was the George W. Perkins Fellow of the Council of the Humanities, taught Creative Writing at Princeton from 1980 to 1993. Jodi studied with Mary while at Princeton and credits Mary, who is also an award-winning novelist, for launching her career.  Mary has commented on why she loves teaching: “People ask me all the time: ‘How can you teach writing?’  And this is what I tell them.  I cannot teach someone to how to have a rich imagination or a good ear for language, but I can help a person find the stories they want to tell.”  Starting out as mentor and student, Jodi and Mary’s relationship has become a deep friendship.

Whether writing fiction or non-fiction, Morris sees herself as a storyteller, weaving tales.  Mary is the author of numerous works of fiction, including the novels Gateway to the Moon published in April 2018, The Jazz Palace, A Mother’s Love, and House Arrest and of nonfiction, including the travel memoir classic Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone.  Her novels and story collections have been translated into Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Swedish and Japanese.

Mary’s last two novels have been historically based.The Jazz Palace, which won the 2016 Anisfield-Wolf Award in fiction, took Mary almost twenty years to write, and the result is a novel about which Christina Baker Kline has written “we know we are in the hands of a master.” Mary’s new book, Gateway to the Moon, was published in April 2018.  Jodi has written about it: “I have been spoiled by Mary Morris’s writing–her rich storytelling woven with poetry–for years, but this latest novel brings me to a whole new level of awe…. If you haven’t read Mary Morris yet, start here. Now. Immediately.”

This event will be a unique opportunity to hear two masters discuss their craft of writing. Both Jodi’s new book A Spark of Light and Mary’s new book Gateway to the Moon will be available for purchase at this event.


December 6, 2018
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm