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He wrote "Mink River," the Oregon Coast novel beloved by book clubs nationwide; "Martin Marten," the Oregon Book Award-winning novel about a boy and a pine marten growing up side by side on Mount Hood; and books about pinot noir, Catholicism, and the heart, to name just a few more.
“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.
“And I love that work.” Doyle is survived by his wife, Mary, and their three children.
A memorial service is planned Friday, June 2, at a.m.
Admirers included the writer and humorist Ian Frazier, who in a 2016 Christmas poem in The New Yorker devoted two lines to "News of Doyle's diagnosis in November was greeted with disbelief and sorrow by his fans.
Many contributed to a Go Fund Me account to help defray his medical expenses; donations had reached nearly 5,000 by the time of his death.
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.
"To catch and share stories, what could be holier and cooler than that?
Brian Doyle is an essayist, author, and editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland – “the best spiritual magazine in the country,” according to Annie Dillard.