10 Books That Influenced Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things
Best-selling author Jodi Picoult recommends social justice must-reads that informed her latest novel, which tackles racism and prejudice in America.
By Heeseung Kim
“It’s based on the life of Frankie, who was the second [former white supremacist] I spoke with, who led a very violent crew in the Philadelphia area. In prison, he was playing a long-standing poker game, and there was a kid his age who was his partner, and the two of them kept winning because they were so close. And it just didn’t seem to matter that this kid was black and that Frankie was white. That was the [first] moment that he began to realize that maybe what he’d been taught wasn’t true.
The second moment was after he got out of prison, and he wound up getting a job from a Jewish man. And he had been told his whole life that this guy was gonna ’Jew you down.’ This man pulled him aside and says, ’You’ve done such an extraordinary job I actually want to pay you double what I contracted you.’ Again, Frankie was completely thrown for a loop. And he realized, how many exceptions to the rule do you need to make before you begin to think the rule was wrong?”—Jodi Picoult
To read Jodi Picoult’s entire list, go to Cosmopolitan.