Date of Birth: August 19, 1988
Veronica Roth is a young adult author renowned for her work in the Divergent trilogy. A Chicago native, Roth attended and graduated from Northwestern University with a creative writing degree. In 2011, while she was still a student, Roth made her debut as a published author with the dystopian tale, Divergent.
The story of Divergent is set in a dystopian Chicago, where society is divided into factions of different values: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful) and Erudite (the intelligent). Every year, a ceremony is held for 16-year-olds from all the factions to make the decision whether to stay in their home faction or move to another.
The annual tradition is threatened when a girl named Beatrice 'Tris' Prior of the Abnegation clan discovers that she is a divergent. Those marked with this label are considered dangerous because they contain qualities from more than one faction, therefore undermining the maliciously controlled structure of society. Tris betrays her family by joining the thrill-seeking Dauntless.
With similar storylines and themes, Divergent is often compared to The Hunger Games. Despite the similarities, Divergent proved to stand out on its own and debuted at number six on The New York Times' Bestseller List for Children Chapter Books. Its success proved that readers were able to connect to Tris’ coming of age struggles of strength and identity.
In a 2013 interview with Ryan Seacrest, Roth revealed how surreal it was to find success at the young age of 22. “It was really incredible,” she said. “It was like one minute I was at my parents' house in my rubber ducky pajamas writing this story that I just thought would go nowhere, and I polished it and sent it to agents... and I got one."
The sequel, Insurgent, was released a year later. It debuted at number one on The New York Times' Bestseller List for Hardcover Books. Its breakout success attracted the interest of Summit Entertainment, which picked up the film rights. Soon, Neil Burger took the director’s helm. Shailene Woodley earned the coveted role of Tris and Oscar-winner Kate Winslet was cast as the villainous Jeanine Matthews.
Divergent hits theaters in the summer of 2014. The final installment, Allegiant, will be released in Fall 2013.
When she's not writing or reading, Roth loves to indulge in cooking, psychology, biology, theology, fashion, contemporary art and poetry.