Polly Dugan is a graduate of Dickinson College, and a four-time attendee of the Tin House Writers Workshop where she worked with Steve Almond, Elissa Schappell, Meg Storey and Joy Williams. Her stories have appeared in Line Zero and Narrative and received Honorable Mention recognition in Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers August 2009.
She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, two sons, an enormous black Labrador Retriever and a yard sale cat. Her collection of ten linked stories, So Much a Part of You, will be published by Little, Brown; June 10, 2014. She is currently working on a novel, The Sweetheart Deal, in which a confirmed bachelor is forced to honor a drunken pact made twelve years earlier to marry his best friend’s wife if he dies. Little, Brown, Spring 2015.
The poignant story of what happens when a woman who thinks she's lost everything has the chance to love again.
Leo has long joked that, in the event of his death, he wants his best friend Garrett, a lifelong bachelor, to marry his wife, Audrey. One drunken night, he goes so far as to make Garrett promise to do so. Then, twelve years later, Leo, a veteran firefighter, dies in a skiing accident.
As Audrey navigates her new role as widow and single parent, Garrett quits his job in Boston and buys a one-way ticket out west. Before long, Audrey's feelings for Garrett become more than platonic, and Garrett finds himself falling for Audrey, her boys, and their life together in Portland. When Audrey finds out about the drunken pact from years ago, though, the harmless promise that brought Garrett into her world becomes the obstacle to his remaining in it.
Two young women who've dated the same man navigate love, destiny, loss, and choice in this powerful debut.
Anna Riley and Anne Cavanaugh have had a lover in common, but it's not until a pivotal moment in one of their lives that their paths unforgettably converge. "Beautiful and connected in unexpected ways...." (Jodi Angel), the linked stories in So Much a Part of You "read like whispered secrets." (Scott Nadelson)
Peter Herring was the center of Anne's universe in college, and now, a few years later, he's become the center of Anna's, and merely a minor player in his ex-girlfriend's world. That is, until Peter and Anna are invited into Anne's parents' home to visit with her dying mother, and he finds himself drawn back into her orbit. Years later, when her own mother is dying, Anna will find herself yearning to reach out to Anne, with whom she had shared such a brief but intimate bond, and find solace in that moment from long ago.
Perspective evolves with time, and so with time, what Peter means to each woman-as lover, as friend, as connection to the past-also evolves. Through exploring Anne's and Anna's ties to Peter and unfolding the narratives of the people who weave meaningfully in and out of their lives, Polly Dugan reveals the power of family secrets, the ripple effects of her characters' emotional choices, and how poignantly their intertwined relationships shape who they are and how they love.
Possessing that rare ability to write the sweep of emotion with tenderness, Polly Dugan invites readers to witness the moments that define her characters-the moments that come back full circle to comfort or haunt them, or both. So Much a Part of You will break your heart and still have you asking for more.