NEW - Coming
Since 2005 the suicide rate among veterans has risen over 26%; and in June of last year, as many vets committed suicide as active soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. From an endless war, to unpunished corporate malfeasance, to an increasingly unrepresented middle class, to a dividing media, we have become a culture of the disconnected—a new lost generation.
How do we rediscover our center? How do we connect?
My recently completed new novel is a love story about desire, money, class distinction, and betrayal. But more so, it is a study of our time--of good but flawed people, living in an era of great irresponsibility, struggling to grow up and not knowing how. It's about connection.
For more information, follow me on Twitter or contact me HERE.
Because She Is Beautiful
"Until a courageous act frees her, New Yorker Kim Reilly remains an outsider in a world her sophisticated lover tries to train her to be part of. In his first novel, Dougan shows he understands female emotions and, indeed, human emotions." -- American Way
My first novel, Because She Is Beautiful, grew out of a question and was originally conceived as a short story. A middle-aged kept woman living in New York meets a younger man in a foreign city (Paris). She has left behind her long-time married lover to seek a change from a pattern of self-defeating life choices. Would she possess the awareness to recognize in the new man the potentiality of something different, non-destructive at the very least, possibly good even? Or would past habits betray her self-interest? Would the moment slip by unrealized?
The more I explored the details of their meeting and the ensuing action, the further I found myself reaching into the woman's past, the compromises that would inevitably spur consequence, expanding flashbacks into an accumulation of impressions that
would inform her final seeing or blindness. And in this way the story grew into something larger: a study in identity and self-worth, narcissism and forgiveness.
When the novel first came out, I was working at the Madison Avenue Bookshop. Customers would stop in to discuss the story, and in many cases, the novel drew polar responses. Some saw the main character as unforgivably weak, deserving of punishment. Others saw her as damaged but well-intentioned, struggling toward revelation, deserving of compassion.
It had been my goal to present Kim's life without judgment or apology or telling; and if there was an accomplishment in the writing that I am proud of still, it is that the novel elicited such strong reactions. Readers judged or forgave her as though she were someone real and familiar. They saw past the title's seemingly shallow answer, beneath the guild of distracting and vacant luxuries, the loneliness of a beating heart.
Because She Is Beautiful took five years to write. It was a labor of love about a search for love.
Published by Random House as a trade paperback and ebook original in 2001, before the emergence of the Kindle, Nook, iPad, and other current reading devices that have spurred digital popularity, it is now available on these devices. Hint, hint... My hope is that new readers may discover this first novel and be moved enough to want to read my second, recently completed.
"An eloquent and finely wrought love story that is both tragic and redemptive."
-- Associated Press