Feature

Author of the week: Veronica Roth

At 25, the suburban Chicago writer already has cranked out a popular young-adult trilogy.

Veronica Roth might want to develop a new pastime, said Janet Potter in the Chicago Reader. At 25, the suburban Chicago writer is less than four years removed from college but already has cranked out a young-adult trilogy whose third novel, Allegiant, at least briefly outsold every other book in America. “Writing is really the only thing I’ve ever loved to do,” Roth says, and she’s been doing almost nothing else since knocking out most of the first book during her senior-year winter break at Northwestern. That novel, Divergent, was an instant hit, introducing YA readers to a dystopian future in which all 16-year-olds, including heroine Tris Prior, must choose a social faction for life. But now that the series is finished, Roth has almost nothing on her plate. “I’ve never had any hobbies because I just wanted to write all the time,” she says.

Roth will be spending a bit of time instructing readers how not to read her books, said Christopher Borrelli in the Chicago Tribune. Roth is a devout Christian, but she insists that the trilogy is no religious allegory. “People assume there’s some weird indoctrination thing hidden in these books, because the assumption is if you’re Christian, you’re preachy.” If anything, though, Roth has simply been offering a critique of herself ever since she invented Tris and invested her with traits that she sometimes wishes she had too. “She’s kind of tough, not particularly nice, doesn’t let people walk on her,” Roth says. But Roth is learning: “Like Tris, I am trying to be a richer, fuller version of myself,” she says.

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