Boyle described himself as "just a young punk" with a chip on his shoulder when he joined Bourjaily at the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1972.
"Vance was my mentor," he said. "He calmed me down, helped me with my work. He gave me encouragement and wound up being a central figure in my life."
Bourjaily was born in Cleveland on Sept. 17, 1922, and later lived in Connecticut, New York and Virginia. His Lebanese immigrant father, Monte Ferris Bourjaily, was a newspaperman who later owned and developed United Features Syndicate. His mother, Barbara Webb, was a features writer and romance novelist.
Bourjaily, whose parents divorced when he was 12, was a student at Bowdoin College in Maine when he joined the American Field Service in 1942. He completed his bachelor's degree at Bowdoin in 1947 and worked as a features writer for the San Francisco Chronicle for about two years before moving to New York City in 1950.
In New York, he and Aldridge co-founded and co-edited the short-lived literary magazine Discovery, and Bourjaily became the Broadway critic for the Village Voice.
Bourjaily was also known for hosting literary soirees at his Greenwich Village apartment, where guests included writers such as Jones, Norman Mailer and William Styron and, on one occasion, actor Montgomery Clift.
"Everyone came to Bourjaily's parties in the early 1950s," according to a 1986 story in Esquire magazine, which noted that Bourjaily introduced Clift to Jones by saying, "Here's the man who should play Prewitt in 'From Here to Eternity.'"
"We had a kind of salon, and we became friends with a lot of writers," recalled Bettina Yensen, Bourjaily's first wife. "We finally got thrown out of that apartment because James Jones vomited down the stairwell. Those were wild times."
Bourjaily's 1946 marriage to Yensen ended in divorce in the mid-'80s; one of their three children, Anna, died in an automobile accident in 1964.
Besides Mogul, Bourjaily is survived by their son, Omar; a daughter and son from his first marriage, Robin and Philip; a stepdaughter, Raissa Williams; a brother, Paul Webb; two half-sisters, Abigail Bourjaily Campi and Dale Anne Bourjaily; four grandchildren; and a step-granddaughter.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mount Tamalpais Mortuary, 2500 5th Ave., San Rafael.