Jodi Picoult's Song For You

BY Advocate Contributors

March 09 2011 4:20 PM ET

The protests and rallies in the aftermath of the murder of Matthew Shepard help your character Vanessa find the inner strength to come out as a lesbian. Strength and hope from tragedy. There’s a lot of tragedy in Sing You Home — are you hoping readers can find their own strength and hope from the catharsis of reading your book?
There's a lot of tragedy in Sing You Home — particularly in Zoe's fertility struggles — but I actually think of this book as an uplifting one. I think the book leaves you with the belief that the world now, for LGBTQ folks, is so much better than it was 20 years ago, and that changing one mind at a time is the way to gain acceptance for all regardless of sexuality. If you have been struggling to be honest about your sexuality and you finally come out, you might change the mind of a relative or friend who previously opposed gay rights — because you force them to rethink their logic. They already love you and know you're not a bad person, therefore not all gay people can be bad. I hope it doesn't take another 20 years to achieve equality, but I do think we are headed in the right direction.

Early in the story, on page 18, there’s a really tender moment of Zoe’s mother saying that her daughter couldn’t disappoint her if she tried. And in track 9, “Where You Are,” there’s a beautiful lyric Ellen sings, “I think home is a person and not so much a place.” Is there a healing for you in your writing?
Writing this book, for me, was not just healing but proactive. I had been writing about an issue that I supported, but it was theoretical. Sure, I had gay friends and colleagues, but it wasn’t until Kyle came out to my husband and me that I realized I had a personal stake in this fight. I want to do my part to change the world for my son. I want to know that this book has opened minds so that by the time Kyle wants to marry and have a family, it’s not an uphill battle.



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