Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Frank McCourt

Frank McCourt was a high school creative writing teacher in New York City, and may never have been known to the world in that quiet profession. But he had an amazing life, the gift of storytelling in his heart, and a voice that captured you attention completely. He put all these elements to work when he wrote the details of his life in three memoirs, ultimately winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1997.
First was Angela’s Ashes which captured his poverty stricken youth in Ireland. Next was 'Tis where he details his move to America and his search of a better life. Finally was Teacher Man discussing his later life as a teacher in the NYC school system. Through all three books you have his distinctive humor in retelling the harshest of situations.
If you have never read any of his works I strongly encourage you to do so. And if possible try to listen to them on tape as read by the author himself. The magic of his Irish accent adds to the profound beauty found within the pages.
Frank McCourt passed away on Sunday, July 19, 2009, after battling melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. He was 78.


Steve said...

NPR played a speech Frank McCourt gave to an audience in San Francisco a few years ago. He read from Angela's Ashes about he and his brother choosing a coffin for their mother. I was laughing out loud in the car.

I am going to pick up Angela's Ashes next time I am at the library.

Steve said...

PS The speech was on today. I heard it an hour or so after I read your post on his death.

TStevens said...

Be forewarned, it is a really sad and depressing book at times. It is also profoundly beautiful.

But like I suggested, get it on cd and listen to it in the car. His brogue really adds to the atmosphere of the story.