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J.D. Dolan   Phoenix  
J.D. Dolan    
Interview with J.D. Dolan

Read an Excerpt

 
The countless TV mythologies of my childhood--shy teen idols, patriotic soldiers, free spirits in fast cars--had become one, it seemed, and achieved flesh and blood in my brother.
--from Phoenix by J.D. Dolan.
Phoenix: A Brother's Life is J.D. Dolan's painfully honest memoir of his older brother's life and death, and of a childhood bisected by pre- and post-Vietnam America. In an era inhabited by both steadfast proponents of domestic stability and a freedom-craving younger generation, J.D. found a hero in his older brother, John. Eleven years his senior, John embodied all that the young J.D. revered. His younger days were marked by rides through their native Los Angeles in John's prized Corvette, trips to the desert motorcycle races, bare-bones instructions on a hand-me-down Remington .22.

Some two decades later a jarring phone call to his hotel in Paris informs J.D. of the bizarre and horrifying accident that would claim his brother's life. Compounding the tragedy is the fact that the brothers have been virtually estranged for several years, and that J.D. can only speculate on the man his brother had become before the catastrophe. His questions are briefly addressed at John's bedside, where J.D., his three sisters, his recently-widowed mother, and a family friend keep vigil until the end.

Eleven years later, J.D. Dolan completed Phoenix, his deeply moving and beautifully-rendered tribute to his brother's memory. In this issue of Bold Type, read an excerpt from Phoenix and an interview with its author.

--Laura Buchwald

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