Monday, 20 July 2009
FRANK MCCOURT - R.I.P.
The lovely Frank McCourt died last night in New York. He was by all accounts a fantastic teacher and he was certainly a gifted writer. I'm glad to hear a high school in New York will be named after him.
If any of you haven't yet read his Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes, do read it - it's hilarious and heartbreaking. Not many books make you laugh and cry but I guarantee this one will; whole scenes and characters from the book have stayed and stayed with me. Frank famously and wittily said about his Limerick upbringing: "Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood."
He signed our copy of the book in Kenny's in Galway when he was here promoting it. My fifteen-year-old son was about three when we met Frank and he held a sweet conversation with Cúán, asking him if he liked eating bacon, cabbage and spuds. Cúán said, emphatically, 'No! Chips!'
Sympathies to Frank's wife Ellen, his daughter, brother Malachy and all their family. A sad day for them and the literary world too.
Irish Times report here.