Best-selling novelist Jodi Picoult has been selected to be the keynote address at Princeton University’s Class Day ceremony for 2016.
Class Day, which takes place the day before Princeton’s commencement ceremony, is organized by members of the graduating class. The spirited, less formal event, includes remarks by class members, the recognition of class members for their contributions, and the induction of honorary class members.
“Jodi Picoult is a fearless writer who has produced so many novels that challenge and change her readers,” said Class Day Co-chair Azza Cohen. “It is our hope that she will address the class in this same way — with the eloquence, compassion and moral fire that fuels her writing.”
Picoult, 48, is a Princeton alumna and lives in New Hampshire. Her last eight novels have debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Her books have been translated into 34 languages. “My Sister’s Keeper” was made into a film in 2009, and four of her other books have been made into television movies.
Picoult graduated from Princeton in 1987 with a degree in English. She also studied creative writing and published stories in the magazine Seventeen as an undergraduate. She has a master’s degree in education from Harvard University. She is currently developing a Broadway musical. Her new novel, “Small Great Things,” will be published on Oct. 11.
Class Day co-chair Molly Stoneman recalled borrowing copies of Picoult’s novels from her mother and grandmother.
“She touches every generation by tackling controversial topics with healing and compassion; her characters are not good and bad, but people who try and fail, or experience tough conditions before success,” Stoneman said. “There is a beautiful hyper-reality to her books that few authors can touch, and from which our class can learn as we enter the real world.”
The Class Day ceremony will be held on the Cannon Green at Princeton University at 10:30 a.m. on May 30.