Jay Asher

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Jay Asher
Asher at the 2011 Texas Book Festival
Asher at the 2011 Texas Book Festival
Born (1975-09-30) September 30, 1975 (age 48)
Arcadia, California, U.S.
GenreYoung adult
Years active2007–present
Notable worksThirteen Reasons Why (2007)
SpouseJoan Marie (m. 2002)

Jay Asher (born September 30, 1975) is an American writer and novelist. He is best known for writing the bestselling 2007 book Thirteen Reasons Why.

Early life[edit]

Asher was born in Arcadia, California, on September 30, 1975. He is half Jewish.[1] He attended Cuesta Community College and later California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, before leaving during his junior year to pursue his career as a writer. Asher spent years trying to kick-start a career writing children's picture books.[citation needed] During this time, Asher worked at a shoe store, a trophy shop, libraries, and bookstores.[2]


Asher has published four books: Thirteen Reasons Why, a 2007 New York Times best-selling young-adult fiction novel; The Future of Us, co-written by Carolyn Mackler; What Light; and Piper. Asher has also written several picture books and middle school humor novels. Thirteen Reasons Why won several awards and received five stars from Teen Book Review. It also received high praise from Ellen Hopkins, Sherman Alexie, Chris Crutcher, and Gordon Korman.

Asher's novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, was considered for a film treatment with Selena Gomez starring. Netflix released a series based on the novel on March 31, 2017, with Gomez serving as executive producer.[3]

Sexual misconduct allegations[edit]

In April 2017, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and Asher's agent received an email signed anonymously by seven female members of the society accusing Asher of using conferences to lure women into sexual affairs and that he threatened them to keep quiet. Asher, who is married, admitted to engaging in multiple affairs with members of the society and agreed to no longer attend the conferences in any capacity.[4]

In February 2018, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators announced that it had expelled and cut ties with Asher in 2017 following allegations of sexual harassment. Asher disputed that he was expelled stating that he left voluntarily, and filed a lawsuit against the society.[5] Prior to the lawsuit the allegations were not publicly reported in the press.[4] Asher maintains that the affairs were consensual and that he has been a target of harassment for a decade. Asher has not revealed the names of his accusers, stating that he has no intention in doing so.

On February 13, 2018, a spokesperson for Netflix confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Asher did not play a creative role in the further seasons of the series.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Asher married Joan Marie on September 7, 2002.[7] Asher lives in California.[8]

Published works[edit]

Young adult novels[edit]

  • Thirteen Reasons Why (2007)
    This is the story of Hannah Baker, a girl who dies by suicide. She reveals her thirteen reasons for her decision in a series of several audio tapes mailed to a classmate with instructions to pass them from one student to another, in the style of a chain letter. Through Hannah's recorded voice, her classmates learn the reasons why Hannah decides to take her own life. Besides Hannah, the reader also sees the story through the eyes of Clay Jensen, one of the recipients of the tapes.
  • The Future of Us (2011), co-written with Carolyn Mackler
    This is the story of Josh and Emma, two teenagers who used to be best friends until a huge misunderstanding. In 1996, Josh helps Emma set up her internet, only to find Facebook - before it has been invented. There, they can see themselves 15 years in the future - status updates, information, friends, etc. Using Facebook, they are able to change their destinies.
  • What Light (2016)
    Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon - it's an idyllic place for a girl to grow up, except that every year they have to pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life begins to eclipse the other.


  • Piper (2017), a graphic novel co-written with Jessica Freeburg and illustrated by Jeff Stokely


  • Sunny Boy: More Than a Family Story (2017), memoirs



  1. ^ @jayasherguy (December 7, 2015). "Chanuka Sameach! (I'm only half Jewish, so I had to look that up.)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Smith, Cynthia Leitich (February 5, 2008). "Author Interview: Jay Asher on Thirteen Reasons Why". Cynsations. cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved May 20, 2008..
  3. ^ "Netflix Gives Selena Gomez's '13 Reasons Why' Straight-To-Series Order". Deadline. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  4. ^ a b Shapiro, Lila (February 1, 2019). "Why author's defamation suit was the kind of hush-hush agreement we no longer tolerate". Vulture. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  5. ^ Cain, Sian (13 February 2018). "Thirteen Reasons Why author Jay Asher leaves writers' group after sexual harassment claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  6. ^ Yandoli, Krystie (13 February 2018). "The "Thirteen Reasons Why" Author Says He's Being Harassed After Having "Affairs With Consenting Adults"". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Jay Asher: Author Info". Jay Asher. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  8. ^ "Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher - Author Biography". www.litlovers.com. Retrieved 2020-02-01.

External links[edit]