Jennifer Finney Boylan

Jennifer Boylan

Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence, Professor of English




420 Barnard Hall
T 10:30am- 4pm & by appt.


Jennifer Finney Boylan is the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence, and Professor of English at Barnard.  In 2022-23 she is a Fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Center for Advanced Study.  She is the author of 18 books, including the memoirs SHE’S NOT THERE  and GOOD BOY as well as the novel LONG BLACK VEIL. Her new book, MAD HONEY, is a novel co-authored with Jodi Picoult.  It debuts in October 2022 from Ballantine/Penguin Random House. 

A contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, her column appears on the paper’s op/ed page on alternate Wednesdays.  She is a member of the board of Trustees of PEN American, and from 2010-2017 was a member of the board of directors of GLAAD, including four years as co-chair of the board. She is also on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference at Middlebury College.

  • M.A. (honorary degree)  Colby College 2001
  • M.A., (terminal fine arts degree) Johns Hopkins University, 1986
  • B.A. Wesleyan University, 1980 Major:  English

  • Advanced Studies in Prose Writing
  • Gendered Memoir

  • Charles Bassett Faculty Alumni Award, Colby College, June 7, 2014
  • Maryann Hartmann Award, (for “Maine women of accomplishment in the arts,  politics, business, education and community service”) University of Maine, 2012
  • Stonewall Legacy Award, University of Massachusetts, Amherst   May 15, 2009
  • Member, National Screening Committee, 2008, 2009. 2010,  United States Department of State/Institute of  International  Education.
  • She’s Not There, Lambda Literary Association Prize, 2004
  • She’s Not There, alternate selection, Book of the Month Club edition with an introduction by Anna Quindlen, fall 2003
  • Charles Bassett Teaching Award Colby College, May 2000
  • “Alex Award”  from the American Library Association 1999
  • Fellow in Literature 1987, Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts

  • The Kinsey Institute for Research on Sex, Gender, and Reproduction
  • Contributing Opinion Writer, The New York Times

  • Commencement Address, Kents Hill School, Kents Hill, ME 5/24/14
  • Plenary Address to Seven Sisters College Presidents, Barnard College, New York, NY 12/5/13
  • Keynote Address, Keystone Gender Conference,  Harrisburg PA  3/14/13

2015 (scheduled)

  • Reading, Cal State East Bay,  Hayward, CA, 2/26/14


  • Reading, First Year Experience (FYE) Conference, San Diego, CA 2/15-17/14.
  • Reading, Bowdoin College, Brunswick ME 2/24/14
  • Reading, Muhlenberg College, Allentown PA 3/24/14
  • Reading, Indiana University East, Richmond IN  3/26/14
  • Reading, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY 4/3/14
  • Guest professor, Sexuality Class, University of Maine, 4/24/14
  • Reading, World Voices Festival, PEN, New York, NY 5/2/14
  • Reading with Augusten Burroughs, Strand Bookstore, New York, NY, 5/8/14
  • Reading, Edith Wharton House, “The Mount,” Lenox, MA 8/29/14
  • Panel, Canyon Ranch, Lenox MA 8/30/14
  • Reading, Poly Prep, Brooklyn, NY  9/9/14
  • Reading, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY  9/18/14
  • Reading, Milton Academy, Milton, MA 10/1/14
  • Reading, Mt. Holyoke, South Hadley, MA 10/2/14
  • Reading, SUNY Canton, NY 10/16/14
  • Reading, Boston Book Festival, Boston MA  10/25-14

I'm generally on campus in spring semester, and generally off campus in the fall.  

Trans Bodies/Trans Selves. Laura Erickson-Schroth, ed. (introduction by Jennifer Finney Boylan) (June 2014) Oxford University Press.

Stuck in the Middle with You: Parenthood in Two Genders. (May 2013) Crown/Broadway, division of Random House, Inc. (memoir, plus interviews on parenthood and childhood with Richard Russo, Augusten  Burroughs, Edward Albee, Anne Beattie, Susan Minot, Trey Ellis and  others.) Paperback April 2014.

She’s Not There: a Life in Two Genders, (May 2013) Revised and expanded  10th anniversary edition of 2003 memoir, with new epilogue by Deirdre  Boylan and new foreword and afterword by Jennifer Boylan. Afterward by  Richard Russo. 2013 Crown/Broadway, division of Random House, Inc.

I’m Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted, (January 2008), paperback October 2008 Doubleday/Broadway, division of Random  House, Inc.

She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders, with an Afterword by Richard Russo (July 2003), paperback: August 2004, Doubleday/Broadway, division of Random House, Inc.

Books, Fiction, Adult Literary

Getting In. A Novel. 1998, Time/Warner Inc.

The Constellations. A Novel. 1994  Random House, Inc.

The Planets, A Novel. 1991 Poseidon (Simon & Schuster, Inc.)

The Planets. A Novel. 1992 Vintage Contemporaries (paper)

I’ll Give You Something to Cry About. A novella. June 2014,  She-books, Inc.

Remind Me to Murder You Later, 1988 (Stories) (Johns Hopkins University  Press)

Falcon Quinn, Book III  Forthcoming winter 2015, (Amazon)

Falcon Quinn and the Crimson Vapor (Harper Collins), May 2011

Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror  (HarperCollins), April  2010

(4 other Y.A. books published under a pseudonym, HarperCollins,  1998-99)

These books contain stories or excerpts of nonfiction work by JB:

Brief Encounters: Norton Anthology of Short Nonfiction.  W.W, Norton, Inc. (forthcoming 2015). (contains essay by JB, “Why the Long Face?”)

You are You (forthcoming 2015) Photo-documentary on camp for gender nonconforming youth. Wrote introduction, “Earning My Feathers.”

Come Here Often: 51 Writers Raise a Glass to Their Favorite Bar. Black Balloon Publishing.  September 2014  (contains story/essay by JB, “The Beagle.”)

Spent: Exposing our Complicated Relationship with Shopping, forthcoming from SEAL Press. (contains JB essay, “The One That Got Away.” )

Letters to My Sisters, Transgress Press.  May 2014. Contains one JB “letter” to young transgender women.

Greenwich Village Stories, Universe Press, April 2014.  Contains JFB tale of arriving in New York, November 2, 1980.

40 Model Essays: A Portable Anthology, Bedford/St. Martins; fall 2012 (contains JB essay, “In the Early Morning Rain.”)

It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth  Living.  Dutton.  Spring, 2011.  (contains JB essay, “In the Early Morning Rain.” ) Dan Savage, & Terry Miller, eds.

Truth & Dare, UK: Constable & Robinson, US: Running Press, 2011 (contains  JB story, “Nude Descending a Staircase”) Liz Miles, ed.

Love is a Four Letter Word: True Stories of Breakups, Bad Relationships, and  Broken Hearts,  Michael Taeckens, ed.  Plume (Penguin Group)  July 2009 (contains JB story, “Trans”)

The Book of Dads: Essays on the Joys, Perils, and Humiliations of Fatherhood,  edited by Ben George (Ecco Press)  May 2009  (contains JB story, “The  Sleepwalker”)

How Beautiful the Ordinary, Michael Cart, ed. (GLBT stories for young adults) HarperCollins, 2009, (contains JB story, “The Missing Person”)

So the Story Goes: 25 Years of the Johns Hopkins University Press (contains JB story, “36 Miracles of Lyndon Johnson”) 2004

Kings and Queens:  Queers at the Prom (Soft Skull Press) 2004

Sexual Metamorphosis: Anthology of Trans Memoir, ed. Jonathan Ames (Vintage Books) 2005

Mondo Jimmy Dean (St. Martins), anthology containing JB story, “Sausage  King,” 1997

Fiction, Short Stories, Magazines and Literary Quarterlies

“The Women I Dated When I Was a Man,”,  7/2/2009

“Six Graves for Seven Writers,” Seneca Review, Spring 2010 (special  issue  on “The Lyric Body”)

“Jonesin’”, The Hopkins Review, Winter  2009

“Cruel for Cats,” Time Out  Magazine (London)

“The Bad Woodchopper,”  and “Fear of Snakes,” Boston Review

“The Pennsylvania Hermit,” San Diego Studies

“Three and a Half Duets,”  Southwest Review

Invisible Woman” and “Fugue for Violin and Three Stooges,” Florida  Review

“Thirty Six Miracles of Lyndon Johnson,” and “Jimmy Durante Lost in Antarctica,” Quarterly West

“Bride of Frankenstein,” Confrontation

“Horse Year,” Leminiscate

Potter’s Field,” Western Humanities Review

“Pizza and Parenthood,” Op-Ed, New York Times, August 27, 2014

“My Life in Bicycles,” Op-Ed, New York Times, Aug. 17, 2014

“Trans Community Can Change Minds by Changing Discourse,” Op-Ed,  Los Angeles Times, August 17, 2014.

“Five Things Not to Say to a Transgender Person (and Three Things You  Should)” Huffington Post,July 21, 2014

I Had a Boyhood, Once,” Op-Ed, New York Times, July 20, 2014

Home is Where the Horses Are,” Op-Ed, New York Times, May 28, 2014

When Music Was Strange,” Op-Ed, New York Times, May 10, 2014

A Common Core for All of Us,” Op-Ed, New York Times, March 22, 2014

“Save us from the SAT,” Op-Ed, New York Times, March 7, 2014

“Transgender, Schlumpy, & Human,” Op-Ed, New York Times, Feb. 16, 2014

“The Beatles, JFK, Even Julia Child. HELP!”  feature, Washington Post, Feb. 7. 2014

“Haunted by a Disappearance,” Op-Ed, New York Times, Dec. 31, 2013

A Transgender Volunteer for the Salvation Army,” Op-Ed, New York Times, Dec. 16, 2013

“The Costumes We Choose,” Op-Ed, New York Times, Oct. 28. 2013

One Classroom, Two Genders," Op-Ed, New York Times, Sept. 9, 2013

 “The Risk Pool,” op/ed, New York Times, August 26, 2013

“Longing for the Day When Chelsea Manning and I Both Seem Boring,” Washington Post, August 22, 2013

“Diversity and ‘Dr. Who.’” Op-Ed, New York Times, August 6, 2013

“What Makes a Mother?” Op-Ed, New York Times, May 12, 2013

“A Freshman All Over Again,” Op-Ed, New York Times, August 23, 2012

“Weather Vain” Op-Ed New York Times,  August 12, 2012

“The Colonel and the Governor,  Campaign Stops blog for New York Times. June 11, 2012

All My Old Haunts,” Op-Ed,  New York Times, 8/18/11

“We Want Cake, Too,” Op-Ed, New York Times, 8/12/11

“This Astronomical Recession,” Op-Ed, New York Times, 8/5/11

“Oprah, I Hardly Knew You,” Op-Ed, New York Times, 5/28/11

The Death of Winnie-the-Pooh” Op-Ed, New York Times. 12/22/11

“The Graves of New England” Martha Stewart Living, Halloween 2009

“The Women I Dated When I Was a Man,” published in, July 2,  2009  (excerpt from “Trans,” story from Love is a Four Letter Word  Anthology, see above)

“Is My Marriage Gay?” Op-Ed New York Times ,May 11, 2009

“Maddy Might Just Work After All” Sunday New York Times Style Section, “Modern Love” column, April 24, 2009.  (story from The Book of Dads Anthology, see above.)

Sweet Spot:  St. Kitts & Nevis” Conde Nast Traveller, December 2008

“The XY Games,” New York Times Op-Ed,  August 3, 2008

Four Pieces for New York Times Op-Ed Page, Campaign Postcards Series:  “A Political Shell Game,”  June 22, 2008; “The Democrats Endless Winter,” March 23, 2008; “At the Maine Caucuses, A Tough Nut to Crack,” February 17, 2008; “Fishing for a Keeper,” January 20, 2008

Ghosts of Halloweens Past” Op-Ed piece in The New York Times, Halloween 2007

“Excerpt from I’m Looking Through You” Philadelphia magazine, January 2008

“Not Just a Pretty Face” Conde Nast Traveller magazine (piece on  Easter Island); January 2007

“Rainbow’s End” Conde Nast Traveller magazine (piece on the  Turks & Caicos),  fall 2006

“Islands of Casco Bay” Conde Nast Traveller magazine, summer 2005

“Traveling as a Woman: Venice and Rome” Conde Nast Traveller magazine summer 2004

“Does This Gender Make Me Look Fat?” Essay, Allure  magazine, October 2003

“She’s Not There: From a Man to a Woman” GQ magazine, May 2002

“THERE FROM HERE”—Biweekly column for Kennebec Journal and  Morning Sentinel,  2005-2007