Hodder to publish Jodi Picoult's pandemic-inspired novel

Hodder to publish Jodi Picoult's pandemic-inspired novel

Hodder will publish Jodi Picoult’s new novel, Wish You Were Here, inspired by the global pandemic and about how a young woman's life unravels in lockdown.

Carolyn Mays, Hodder m.d. and publisher of all Picoult’s novels in the UK, acquired British and Commonwealth rights, excluding Australia and New Zealand, from agent Laura Gross. Hodder will publish in hardback, e-book and audiobook on 25th November 2021. 

Wish You Were Here is billed by the publisher as “a compellingly urgent read and an insightful examination of the resilience of humanity and what we need from life”. 

The synopsis reads: “It’s Friday the 13th and Diana is an ambitious young appraiser at Sotheby’s in New York. She’s about to go on a long-awaited holiday, where she knows Finn, her surgeon boyfriend, will propose and the next stage of her carefully planned life will begin. But it is Friday the 13th of March 2020. The new virus hits. Finn can’t leave the city, and suggests she goes without him. In the Galapagos, unable to get back to her real life, Diana learns about the devastation hitting the world as she hears intermittently from her boyfriend. She’s discovering a new side to herself and a new kind of life, when everything changes.”  

Picoult revealed she struggled emotionally and creatively when the pandemic hit. “Humans mark tragedy. Everyone remembers where they were when Kennedy was shot, when the Twin Towers fell, and the last thing they did before the world shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic," she said. "In those early days, I was so anxious that I couldn’t concentrate on anything – which meant that I couldn’t distract myself with my work. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t even read.”  

She added: “I started working on a novel, attempting to jog my muscle memory and somehow my brain remembered how to craft a book. But the whole time I was working on that story, I was wondering: how are we going to chronicle this pandemic? How do we tell the tale of how the world shut down, and why, and what we learned? I hope Wish You Were Here does some of that.”  

Mays said: “It was such a thrill to see this fabulous new novel arrive in my inbox. Jodi Picoult’s characters chronicle the early months of the pandemic with the frustration and rage we all felt, but find hope and bright moments in it, and ultimately, a way to make it matter.”  

Picoult is the author of 25 internationally bestselling novels, including My Sister’s Keeper, The Storyteller and Small Great Things, all published by Hodder & Stoughton, and has co-written two young adult books with her daughter Samantha van Leer. She has sold 7.4 million books for £41.2m according to Nielsen BookScan's UK TCM, excluding lockdown sales.