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'What's going to stick around?'

31 March 2014

'Dickens is the best example of someone who, I think, did what I do, or what I try to do, which is to take a difficult or contentious moral or social issue and get people to think about it through fiction. You see highbrow reviews of highbrow books that no one has ever heard of. You see what awards are given at the National Book Awards. But I really wonder 500 years from now, or even 100 years from now, what's going to stick around? Is it going to be those books, or is it going to be, as we've seen in the past, what was read widely.

You can hype a book, you can advertise a book, you can publicise a book, but ultimately if it is not a good book, people are not going to tell their friends about it. To me the highest form of praise, and the best form of advertising, is when someone pushes a book into people's hands and says, "Really, you've got to read this" That's why I have had staying power.'

Jodie Piccoult, author of The Storyteller, in The Times