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Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan (Maine) (May 2011 – Present)


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Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan is the author of thirteen books.  Her 2003 memoir, She's Not There: a Life in Two Genders (Broadway/Doubleday/Random House) was the first bestselling work by a transgender American.   A novelist, memoirist, and short story writer, she is also a nationally known advocate for civil rights. Jenny has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show on four occasions;, Live with Larry King twice; the Today Show, the Barbara Walters Special, NPR's Marketplace and Talk of the Nation; she has also been the subject of documentaries on CBS News' 48 Hours. and The History Channel. She is a regular contributor to the Op-Ed page of the New York Times and Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

Since 1988, she has been Professor of English at Colby College in Maine; as of fall 2010, she is also the Hoyer-Updike Distinguished Writer at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. From 2007-2010 she served on the judging committee of the Fulbright Scholarships, administered by the U.S. Department of State. As an advocate for transgender equality she has given addresses at the National Press Club, been the keynote or plenary speaker at gender conventions nationwide, and spoken on hundreds of college campuses including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, Barnard, Wesleyan, Amherst, Duke and Dartmouth. In April of 2011 she testified before the Judiciary Committee of the Maine Legislature to oppose the proposed legislation to exempt transgender Mainers from that state's human rights law.

Born in 1958 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Boylan received her Bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University, and did her graduate work at Johns Hopkins.  Her first book was the collection of short stories, Remind Me to Murder You Later, followed by the novels The Planets, The Constellations, and Getting In, as well as I'm Looking Through You, a memoir about growing up in an allegedly haunted house.

Her most recent project is the young adult series FALCON QUINN, published by HarperCollins, which tells the story of a group of 13 year olds who turn into monsters, and who are sent to a special school in order how to learn how to imitate human beings.  The Falcon Quinn series asks the question: Is it better to pretend to be something you're not if it literally means you can survive? Or to embrace your true self, if your true self is, say a zombie?

Jenny won the Lambda Literary Foundation Prize in 2004.  In 2009 the University of Massachusetts awarded her its "Stonewall Legacy" prize. Colby College's students named her the "Professor of the Year" in 2000.  

She lives in Belgrade Lakes, Maine, with her spouse, Deedie, and her two sons, Zach and Sean.  Their lives revolve around work, school, French horn, the Irish fiddle, and each other.