Friday, July 24, 2009

RIP Frank McCourt (1930-2009)

Yours truly would be remiss if an entire week was allowed to go by without mentioning the passing of one of my favorite contemporary authors: Frank McCourt

Ye socks are probably, at least peripherally, aware of his 1997 Pulitzer Prize winner: Angela's Ashes.

If not, check it out of your local library. Or, if ye must, rent the movie adaptation.

McCourt's masterpiece recounts his own Irish American childhood, which began in Brooklyn, New York. At the height of the Great Depression, with no work to be had, his parents decide to move back to Ireland. But, there they sank in to even deeper poverty.

The resilience of the McCourts is inspiring, Frank most particularly.

He picked up the family narrative in two more books: 'Tis (1999) and Teacher Man (2005). Then, a couple of Christmas seasons ago, he released a children's book: Angela and the Baby Jesus. Unfortunately, none of them achieved the broad popularity of his first work.

Perhaps, McCourt's works play on my Irish heart strings. But, I'd like to think his insights into human frailties, strengths, and faith transcend mere ethnic pride . . .

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