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Authors: Jodi Picoult,Jennifer Finney Boylan

Mad Honey: A Novel (51 page)

BOOK: Mad Honey: A Novel
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What would I like you to take away from this novel? Absolutely nothing. I'd like you to
—a chance, a thought, a damn. Like gender,
is a construct. We are all flawed, complicated, wounded dreamers; we have more in common with one another than we don't. Sometimes making the world a better place just involves creating space for the people who are already in it.

—Jodi Picoult

This one’s for my
co-author, my brother-from-another-mother, Tim McDonald, who made me fall in love with writing all over again. I’ll work with you over any buggy collaboration program anytime, anywhere, and will lock you in the Writers’ Cage only when strictly necessary.


Susan Finney, my sister-in-law, is a lover of books, stories, red wine, dogs—and me. Openhearted and generous, she has guided Boylans—and Finneys—on many journeys, even when we did not know the way. She’s a sister, a mother, and a grandmother, but above all: an angel. I dedicate this book to you.



The authors would like to thank their guardian angels:

From Jenny

My friend Heidi Doss, of the National Park Service, helped me understand the lives of rangers a little better. The line “I take my paycheck in sunsets” belongs to her. Nick Adams, director of Transgender Representation at GLAAD, provided me with wise counsel as the story took shape, and in particular pointed out how important it is to understand the difference between what is
and what is
. My friend Zoe FitzGerald Carter, a distinguished memoirist (and musician), read the book to make sure I got Point Reyes right. The amazing Dr. Marci Bowers—who a few years earlier had served on the GLAAD Board of Directors with me—spent hours with Jodi and me, helping us understand what happens in transgender medicine. And the line “The plumbing works and so does the electricity” belongs to my friend Kate Bornstein, author of, among other works,
Hello Cruel World:
Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws.

From Jodi

There’s nothing like writing a book during a pandemic. If not for Zoom, the research for this book would have been impossible. I’m indebted to my legal gurus: Jen Sargent and Jen Sternick and
Christine Turner (who likely didn’t know what she was getting
into when she said yes). Thanks to John Grassel, my detective on call, who worried about Asher as much as I did. I’m also grateful to the doctors and pathologists who helped me understand estrogen and bruising, and TTP: Dr. David Toub, Dr. Joel Umlas, and Dr. Betty Martin.

Thanks to Katie Desmond, for all the honey recipes.

There was one bit of research I could not do from behind a computer—and that was beekeeping. Luckily, you can learn beekeeping from six feet of social distance, while wearing a mask underneath your netting. I am grateful to Laura Johnson, Alden Gray, and Lorenz Rutz for allowing me to tag along during an entire season of work, and for teaching me so very much.

Thanks, too, to my beta readers: Brigid Kemmerer (who was there chapter by chapter, thank God), Jane Picoult, Reba Gordon, Elyssa Samsel, Kate Anderson, and Melanie Borinstein.

We would both like to thank our agents, Kris Dahl and Laura Gross, for taking a dream and making it come true. The entire team at Ballantine has our gratitude for being enthusiastic about a co-written novel and for making it shine in so many different ways: Gina Centrello, Kara Welsh, Kim Hovey, Deb Aroff, Rachel Kind, Denise Cronin, Scott Shannon, Matthew Schwartz, Theresa Zoro, Paolo Pepe, Sydney Schiffman, Erin Kane, Kathleen Quinlan, Corina Diez, and Jordan Pace. Emily Isayeff and Susan Corcoran get special kudos because they looked at Jodi’s gross finger when her bee sting got infected and because they are likely more enthusiastic about this book than anyone else on the planet. Our remarkable editor, Jennifer Hershey, is currently being nominated for sainthood. If you think wrestling a book into shape is hard, try doing it with two different authors—and yet Jen manages to be brilliant and graceful

Finally, we’d like to thank our significant others: Tim van Leer and Deirdre Finney Boylan, for love that will last as long as honey.

—Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan

By the Authors
Jodi Picoult

Wish You Were Here

The Book of Two Ways

A Spark of Light

Small Great Things

Leaving Time

The Storyteller

Lone Wolf

Sing You Home

House Rules

Handle with Care

Change of Heart

Wonder Woman: Love and Murder

Nineteen Minutes

The Tenth Circle

Vanishing Acts

My Sister’s Keeper

Second Glance

Perfect Match

Salem Falls

Plain Truth

Keeping Faith

The Pact


Picture Perfect

Harvesting the Heart

Songs of the Humpback Whale

Off the Page

Between the Lines

Over the Moon: An Original Musical for Teens

Breathe: A New Musical

The Book Thief: A New Musical

Jennifer Finney Boylan

Remind Me to Murder You Later

The Planets

The Constellations

Getting In

She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders

I’m Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted

Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror

Falcon Quinn and the Crimson Vapor

Stuck in the Middle with You: Parenthood in Three Genders

I’ll Give You Something to Cry About

Falcon Quinn and the Bullies of Greenblud

Long Black Veil

Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs

About the Authors

Jodi Picoult
is the author of twenty-eight novels, with forty million copies sold worldwide. Her last thirteen books, including her most recent,
Wish You Were Here,
have debuted at #
on the
New York Times
bestseller list. Five of her novels have been made into movies, and
Wish You Were Here
is currently in development at Netflix. A musical adapation of
Between the Lines
(co-written with her daughter, Samantha van Leer) recently debuted Off-Broadway. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction, the Alex Award from the YA Library Services Association, and the New Hampshire Literary Award for Outstanding Literary Merit. Picoult is also the co-librettist for the original musicals
The Book Thief,
which debuted in the UK this fall. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband.​jodipicoult



Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan
is the bestselling author of eighteen books, fourteen under her own name and four others under a pseudonym. In addition, she is the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer-in-Residence at Barnard College of Columbia University and a 2022–2023 Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. A nationally known advocate for human rights, she serves on the board of trustees of PEN America. For many years she was the national co-chair for GLAAD as well as a contributing opinion writer for
The New York Times.
Her memoir
She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders
was the first bestselling work by a transgender American. She lives in New York City and Belgrade Lakes, Maine, with her wife, Deirdre. They have a son, Sean, and a daughter, Zai.​JenniferFinneyBoylan



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BOOK: Mad Honey: A Novel
10.74Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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