Brian Doyle Essays From Portland Magazine

The family friend who set up the account, Catherine Green, wrote on the crowdfunding site in January that Doyle had told her his greatest fear was not being able to provide for his family and that the money brought him peace of mind.A group of Doyle's fellow authors, including Kim Stafford, David James Duncan, Hob Osterlund, Melissa Madenski and Tom Booth, set up a separate Go Fund Me account this spring with the goal of retiring the mortgage on the family home.

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Brian James Patrick Doyle was born in 1956 in New York to Ethel Clancey Doyle, a teacher, and James Doyle, a journalist who was executive director of the Catholic Press Association for 30 years. Catholic, Boston College Magazine and finally Portland Magazine, where he became editor in 1991, a position he held until his death.

He attended the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in English, graduating in 1978. But it was his fervor for storytelling and his unqualified joy in writing that made his name nationally, with his fans searching out not only his books but also his writings for The Sun magazine, the Daily Guideposts website and other publications.

and you really run along behind them, typing as fast as you can.” Doyle was often teased for his lack of punctuation, his run-on narrative and the way he made the non-human characters as important as the human ones.

He was fond of telling a story about how his brother sent him a letter that was just a page full of commas after the publication of his breakout novel, “Mink River.” “You might want to learn to use these,” his brother joked.

Award-winning Oregon author Brian Doyle died at his home in Lake Oswego Saturday after a months-long struggle with cancer.

He was known for his essays and novels that brought Oregon people and land to life. Doyle grew up in New York, the son of a newspaperman and a teacher.

Brian Doyle, the Lake Oswego author whose prodigious literary output earned him numerous honors including the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature ("puzzling him to this day," say several of his author biographies), died Saturday from complications related to a brain tumor. Doyle learned in November that he had what he described to The Oregonian/Oregon Live as a "big honkin' brain tumor." That month he had surgery to reduce the tumor; in February he began radiation and chemotherapy treatments, according to a Go Fund Me page that a family friend set up to help defray his medical expenses.

By spring, he was in hospice care."Cancer is to be endured, that's all," he wrote in an eerily prescient 2009 commentary piece for The Oregonian/Oregon Live.

“Immediately you’re swept up in the flow of his writing.” In an Oregon Art Beat profile in 2015, Doyle spoke about the importance of being a “story catcher:” “You want your stories to keep traveling long past you. “I would like everybody in the world to read my stories, and not because I’m cool, or because I’ll get money. Stories are ways to jazz your life and maybe that shoves us a little closer toward light.” Doyle was nominated for the Oregon Book Award nine times and finally won in 2016 for his young adult novel “Martin Marten.” His essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Orion, The American Scholar, The Sun, The Georgia Review, among others, and in newspapers and magazines around the world, including The New York Times and The Times of London.

Doyle credits his wife and children with helping hone his writing skills and remind him of reality.


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