About Jack El-Hai
Jack El-Hai is a writer of books and articles who covers medicine, science, and history. He has contributed more than 500 articles and essays to The Atlantic, Scientific American Mind, Wired, American Heritage, The History Channel Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Minnesota Monthly, and many other newsstand publications, as well as to magazines of the University of California, the University of Minnesota, Yale University, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Mayo Clinic, among others.
His books include The Nazi and the Psychiatrist (forthcoming from PublicAffairs Books), Turbulent Air: A History of Northwest Airlines (forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press), The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness (John Wiley & Sons, 2005; winner of a Minnesota Book Award and the annual book award of the Medical Journalists’ Association of the U.K.), Lost Minnesota: Stories of Vanished Places (University of Minnesota Press, 2000), and Minnesota Collects (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1992), as well as commissioned corporate histories of Andersen Windows, Land O’Lakes, Super 8 Motels, FedEx, and many other firms.
Several of Jack’s works have been produced or optioned for production as TV programs, movies, and documentaries. HBO television recently acquired performance rights to The Lobotomist and began production of a pilot series episode, and in 2008 the PBS series American Experience broadcast a documentary based on the book. Jack was also featured in the BBC Four television documentary Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery in 2008, and the program was broadcast in the U.S. in 2010.
Jack has led nonfiction writing workshops for the Split Rock Arts Program and the Medical Humanities Program of the Mayo Clinic, and he has taught in the Creative Writing Program and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication of the University of Minnesota. In 2013 he will join the faculty of the low-residency MFA program in creative writing at Augsburg College. He frequently lectures and leads workshops on writing and on his book topics.
A native of Los Angeles, Jack earned a B.A. in English from Carleton College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Bennington College. He is past president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. His awards and honors include the June Roth Memorial Award for Medical Journalism, a Loft McKnight Fellowship in Creative Prose, and research grants from the Jerome Foundation and the Center for Arts Criticism. He lives in Minneapolis.