Boylan was born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. She graduated from The Haverford School, a private, all-boys prep school in Haverford, Pennsylvania, in 1976, making her now one of only a few female graduates of the school. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 1980 before completing graduate work in English at Johns Hopkins University. Boylan became a professor at Colby College in 1988, where she works to this day.
Boylan has written a total of 13 books, including novels, collections of short stories, and her autobiography. She has also written contributions to the op-ed section of The New York Times. Her autobiography, She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders, was positively reviewed by Scott Tobias of the AV Club, who described it as a "candid and exuberantly funny memoir of self-actualization." Publishers Weekly was more critical. It lauded the book as "frequently poignant" but also said Boylan too readily glossed over the difficult prejudice that transgender individuals must face from others, and this caused the book to feel "incomplete."
Boylan has made appearances in a variety of media outlets to discuss her life, books, and activism. She's been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, The Today Show, 48 Hours, and NPR.
She also serves on the Policy Advisory Board of Gender Rights Maryland.
Stuck in the Middle with You: A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Crown (April 30, 2013)
Amazon: Stuck in the Middle with You: A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders
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New York Times bestseller and acclaimed author Jennifer Finney Boylan returns with a remarkable memoir about gender and parenting, including incredible interviews discussing gender, how families are shaped, and the difficulties and wonders of being human.
A father for ten years, a mother for eight, and for a time in between, neither, or both ("the parental version of the schnoodle, or the cockapoo"), Jennifer Finney Boylan has seen parenthood from both sides of the gender divide. When her two children were young, Boylan came out as transgender, and as Jenny transitioned from a man to a woman and from a father to a mother, her family faced unique challenges and questions. In this thoughtful, tear-jerking, hilarious memoir, Jenny asks what it means to be a father, or a mother, and to what extent gender shades our experiences as parents. "It is my hope," she writes, "that having a father who became a woman in turn helped my sons become better men."
Through both her own story and incredibly insightful interviews with others, including Richard Russo, Edward Albee, Ann Beattie, Augusten Burroughs, Susan Minot, Trey Ellis, Timothy Kreider, and more, Jenny examines relationships with fathers and mothers, people's memories of the children they were and the parents they became, and the many different ways a family can be. Followed by an Afterword by Anna Quindlen that includes Jenny and her wife discussing the challenges they've faced and the love they share, Stuck in the Middle with You is a brilliant meditation on raising – and on being – a child.
She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books; 2 Reprint edition (April 30, 2013)
Amazon: She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders
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The provocative bestseller She’s Not There is the winning, utterly surprising story of a person changing genders. By turns hilarious and deeply moving, Jennifer Finney Boylan explores the territory that lies between men and women, examines changing friendships, and rejoices in the redeeming power of family. Told in Boylan’s fresh voice, She’s Not There is about a person bearing and finally revealing a complex secret. As James evolves into Jennifer in scenes that are by turns tender, startling, and witty, a marvelously human perspective emerges on issues of love, sex, and the fascinating relationship between our physical and intuitive selves. Now with a new epilogue from the author and an afterword from Deirdre "Grace" Boylan, She’s Not There shines a light on the often confounding process of accepting ourselves.
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