Richards Free Library and the Judges of the Sarah Josepha Hale Award are pleased to announce that Jodi Picoult is the 2019 Sarah Josepha Hale Award Medalist. The award presentation will be held on September 28, 2019.
Jodie Picoult is the author of twenty-five novels. Her most recent novel, A Spark of Light, was her tenth consecutive instant #1 New York Times bestseller. Her novels have been made into television movies and feature films. Her two young adult novels co-written with her daughter Samantha Van Leer have been adapted into a musical that is expected to appear Off-Broadway this summer.
Picoult is the recipient of the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction, the Alex Award from YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association), a lifetime achievement award from the Romance Writers of America and the New Hampshire Literary Award for Outstanding Literary Merit.
Picoult is renowned for tackling controversial issues, for her research, and for her ability to explain different points of view. One of the Hale judges said “…she has a gift for enabling readers to get inside the heads of characters who are on different sides of an issue and who might at first seem repellant … Her ability to get readers to understand and respect different points of view is exactly what the country so desperately needs now.” Another judge for the Hale Award called her the “Wonder Woman of American letters”. A graduate of Princeton, Ms. Picoult earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard University. She holds honorary degrees from Dartmouth College and the University of New Haven.
She lives in New Hampshire with her husband.
For over fifty years, the Sarah Josepha Hale Award has been given by the Trustees of the Richards Free Library in recognition of a distinguished body of written work in the field of literature and letters. The award honors author, poet, and essayist Sarah Josepha Hale, who as editor of Godey’s Lady’s Magazine shaped the opinion of nineteenth century American women. The list of Hale Award winners includes the finest writers of our times from Robert Frost in 1956 to Nathaniel Philbrick in 2018.