I first read Brian Doyle’s The Grail (Oregon State University Press, $18.95) while serving on the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Awards Committee years ago. I fell in love with his abundant affection for people and place and his exquisite prose. Over the years, I had the pleasure of meeting him several times. I was just discovering his poetry/poetic essays and his deep faith when I heard that he had cancer. Alas, he passed away in May of 2017, and since then I have spent many hours digging deeper into his writing, always coming away more fully alive than when I sat down. He described himself as a story catcher, and I couldn’t agree more.
One Long River of Song (Back Bay Books, $17.99),
A Book of Uncommon Prayer (Sorin Books, $14.95),
and Children and Other Wild Animals (Oregon State University Press, $18.95) among many others.
–Christy McDanold, Secret Garden Books, Seattle, WA
For further reading:
When Children and Other Wild Animals won a PNBA Award in 2016, Doyle wrote a beautiful essay for nwbooklovers. Doyle was posthumously awarded the Indie Spirit Honor in 2018. An interview by James Crossley in 2016 gives insight into what fun was had in conversation with the author.