Title: Good Boy: A Life in Seven Dogs
Author: Jennifer Finney Boylan
Publisher: Celadon Books
ISBN: 978-1-250-26187-8
On Sale Date: 4/21/2020
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

From bestselling author of She’s Not ThereNew York Times opinion columnist, and human rights activist Jennifer Finney Boylan, Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs, a memoir of the transformative power of loving dogs.

 This is a book about dogs: the love we have for them, and the way that love helps us understand the people we have been. 

 It’s in the love of dogs, and my love for them, that I can best now take the measure of the child I once was, and the bottomless, unfathomable desires that once haunted me.

 There are times when it is hard for me to fully remember that love, which was once so fragile, and so fierce.  Sometimes it seems to fade before me, like breath on a mirror.

 But I remember the dogs. 

 In her New York Times opinion column, Jennifer Finney Boylan wrote about her relationship with her beloved dog Indigo, and her wise, funny, heartbreaking column went viral. In Good Boy, Boylan explores what should be the simplest topic in the world, but never is: finding and giving love.

Good Boy is a universal account of a remarkable story: showing how a young boy became a middle-aged woman—accompanied at seven crucial moments of growth and transformation by seven memorable dogs. “Everything I know about love,” she writes, “I learned from dogs.” Their love enables us to pull off what seem like impossible feats: to find our way home when we are lost, to live our lives with humor and courage, and above all, to best become our true selves.

Virtual Tour Dates

Join bestselling author, New York Times opinion columnist, and human rights activist Jennifer Finney Boylan on her GOOD BOY virtual book tour.

Boylan will discuss her new memoir with exciting conversation partners, such as New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo and acclaimed pop singer Sia, and take questions from the audience.

Book Excerpt

I took her picture one sparkling autumn day, as she stood in our dirt road waiting. There was a bright red maple leaf on the ground.

A year later, I held that photo in my hands as the tears rolled down. An Eva Cassidy ballad, “Autumn Leaves,” played on the radio. It was an old sad song.

My children had been twelve and ten back in 2006. Our family had been through a wrenching couple of years. And yet we’d emerged on the other side of those days still together, the four of us plus Ranger, the black Lab. Our lives revolved around that dog and each other.

But we worried that Ranger felt puny when we weren’t around. Sometimes we arrived back at the house to hear him howling pite-ously. It was heartbreaking, his loneliness.

Then, someone emailed us about this dog named Indigo. She’d had puppies a few months before, and now she needed a home. Were the Boylans interested?


  • Good Boy is a warm, funny, instantly engaging testament to the power of love—canine and human—to ease us through life’s radical transitions.  And I say that as a cat person!

    Jennifer Egan Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and author of A Visit from the Goon Squad and Manhattan Beach
  • Boylan’s gorgeously crafted homage to our unconditional love of dogs turns out to be much less of a paean to her constant canine companions, and much more of a journey through her own psyche and the moral needle of the world we live in. What do we keep, even as we lose pieces of ourselves? The dog at your feet while you’re reading already knows the answer.

    Jodi Picoult #1 NYT bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things
  • Beautiful, tender, and utterly engaging, Good Boy measures out Boylan's life in dog years. The result is a gorgeous memoir, full of heart and insight.

    Susan Orlean Author of The Library Book
  • Jenny Boylan has given us a story full of humor, earned wisdom, and large doses of unconditional love. Beautifully written, wise, and funny, Good Boy is a gift to us all—but especially the dog lovers.

    Jami Attenberg Author of All This Could Be Yours
  • How do you measure a life? Anyone who has lived serially with dogs will appreciate Jenny Finney Boylan's brilliant answer: through the dogs who have accompanied you through that life. The dogs we choose reflect us, and how we live with them reflects on us. Silent observers of the vicissitudes of growing up – and being grown up – Boylan's dogs track her selves. Good dogs, all.

    Alexandra Horowitz Author of Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond, and the New York Times bestselling Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know