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Jodi Picoult studied creative writing in college and had two short stories published in "Seventeen" magazine while still a student. Realism -- and a profound desire to be able to pay the rent -- led Picoult to a series of different jobs following her graduation: as a technical writer for a Wall Street brokerage firm, as a copywriter at an ad agency, as an editor at a textbook publisher, and as an eighth-grade English teacher before pursuing a master's in education. She wrote her first novel, "Songs of the Humpback Whale," in 1992, while she was pregnant with her first child. She is now the author of 15 best-sellers, including her latest, "Handle with Care" (2009). Picoult lives in New Hampshire.