Jay is the author of 20 books, including two prize-winning novels (The Stolen Jew and Before My Life Began), two prize-winning non-fiction books (Imagining Robert and Transforming Madness), and three collections of award-winning stories.
His stories and essays have appeared widely (in The Atlantic, Tikkun, GQ, Sport, The American Scholar, Newsweek, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and others), and have been reprinted in more than 50 anthologies, including Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories.
His screenplay for The Hollow Boy, which premiered on American Playhouse, has won many honors, including top prize at the Houston International Film Festival. He is the recipient of numerous other awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, and is the only author to have won six consecutive Syndicated Fiction Prizes.
Open Heart: A Patient’s Story of Life-Saving Medicine and Life-Giving Friendship appeared in the autumn of 2003, an award winning documentary film based on Imagining Robert has been appearing nationally on PBS stations since 2004. His novel, 1940, published in 2008, was long-listed for the Impac Dublin International Literary Award.
Jay was Professor and Writer-in-Residence for many years at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and has taught at other universities, including Columbia, Stanford, and Freiburg (Germany). He now lives and writes in New York City, where he teaches in the Graduate Writing Program of the Columbia University School of the Arts.