Born in Brooklyn, Bernstein received her B.A. at New York University and her M.F.A. at Columbia University. She is a professor of English and Creative Writing at Carnegie Mellon University, where she has taught since 1991.
She lives in Pittsburgh with Jeffrey F. Cohn, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, and is the mother of Rachel Glynn and filmmaker Charlotte Glynn.
From 1974 to 1993, she worked as a screenwriter. Her co-written screenplay for Seven Minutes in Heaven was released by Warner Brothers in 1986. The movie won a Special Merit Award at the U.S. Film Festival, Santa Barbara, CA in 1987 and an audience award at the Sundance Film Festival, 1986.
Fellowships and Awards
Bernstein was twice the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing, in 1982–1983 and in 2000–2001. She was also awarded a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in Media Arts in 1995 and in Creative Writing in 2002. Other fellowships and awards include two New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowships, and in 2004, a Fulbright Fellowship, which she spent at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. Awards for her essays include The Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing in 2001. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.
- Departures, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979, ISBN 978-0-03-048216-8
- Seven Minutes in Heaven, Fawcett Juniper, 1986, ISBN 978-0-449-70139-3
- Loving Rachel: a family's journey from grief, Little, Brown, 1988, ISBN 978-0-316-09204-3
- Bereft – A Sister’s Story, North Point Press, 2000, ISBN 978-0-86547-586-1
- Rachel in the World, University of Illinois Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-252-03253-0
In the summer of 1977, while helping director Jonathan Kaplan cast the film Over the Edge, a teen rebellion film that was released in 1979, she found Matt Dillon at the Hommocks Middle School in Larchmont, New York, thus launching his acting career.
- Lives; Victim of Circumstance April 2, 2000, New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
- Lives; Independent Means October 7, 2007, New York Times Magazine. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
- How and Why, Creative Nonfiction, Issue 6. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
- "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 24, 2011.
- Over the Edge: An Oral History of the Greatest Teen Rebellion Movie of All Time September 2009, Vice Magazine. Retrieved 2010-03-10.
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2010)|
- Jane Bernstein web site.
- Transcript of NPR Interview about her memoir Bereft.
- Houston Chronicle Review of Rachel in the World, December 6, 2007.