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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.
He credited his father with nurturing his literary passion, telling one interviewer, "He taught me more than anyone or anything that stories swim by the millions and most of being a writer is listening and seeing and then madly scribbling."Oregon, the adopted home he credited in a 2015 interview with giving him "the people I love best, wonderful friends, good work, clean water by the ton from the sky," was the source of some of the stories he treasured most, such as "Mink River." "That book had Oregonness," he said in a 2016 interview with The Oregonian/Oregon Live.
"That pleases me enormously as a way to say thank you to Oregon."Doyle's most recent story, published in March, was the novel "The Adventures of John Carson in Several Quarters of the World: A Novel of Robert Louis Stevenson," a masterful ode to storytelling and storytellers.
“I love writing novels, novels are like long dreams,” Doyle told OPB last year at the Wordstock Book Festival in Portland.
“You really don’t know what’s going on, you take an idea out for a walk, and then the characters take over…
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.
One of his books was inspired by his experiences as a father and the challenges his family encountered when one of his sons was born with a heart condition.
“We are only here for a minute, we are here for a little window, and to use that time to catch and share shards of light and laughter and grace seems to me the great story,” he said in the Oregon Art Beat profile.
But his unique style is what set his writing apart.
“He tends to be able to find the right word to describe things for which you don’t even know there are words.” said Bill Baars, director of the Lake Oswego library, and a good friend of Doyle’s.