Monday, July 20, 2009

Frank McCourt, Dead at 78


Frank McCourt, a former New York City schoolteacher who turned his miserable childhood in Limerick, Ireland, into a phenomenally popular, Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, “Angela’s Ashes,” died in Manhattan on Sunday. He was 78 and lived in Manhattan and Roxbury, Conn.

Like many, especially of Irish descent, I read and appreciated Angela's Ashes. I hesitate to say "enjoyed", because the life portrayed is so full of misery and neglect, caused in large measure by the father's alcoholism, that it's hard to say that the reading was enjoyable. Nevertheless, this vivid depiction of a miserable life is suffused with humor and illustrates the author's ability to rise from a childhood of abject poverty to the opportunity offered to an immigrant in New York.

If you haven't read Angela's Ashes, you should.

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