Frank McCourt

My father and mother should have stayed in New York where they met and married and I was born. Instead, they returned to Ireland when I was four. -- Frank McCourt

When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood. -- Frank McCourt

F Scott Fitzgerald said there are no second acts in American lives. I think I've proven him wrong. And all because I refused to settle for a one-act existence, the 30 years I taught English in various New York City high schools. -- Frank McCourt

Frank McCourt (1930- ) was born in Brooklyn, New York. He spent a miserable childhood in Limerick in Ireland, before returning to New York as a 'Mick off the boat'. He undertook series of bum jobs, eventually getting himself to university and a career as a teacher which lasted thirty years. He then embarked on a second career as a writer.

In what in hindsight can be seen as an act of extreme perversity, Frank McCourt's parents returned to Ireland from New York when he was aged four. Their father deserted them, leaving his mother to raise the family on her own. Angela's Ashes describes a childhood of abject poverty and misery growing up in Ireland. [see BCID 5874611]

Aged 19, Frank McCourt returned to New York. In 'Tis Frank McCourt recounts the life of a naive Irish immigrant fresh off the boat. [see BCID 5874619]

The end of Angela's Ashes differs from the beginning of 'Tis?!

Frank McCourt finally achieved his lifetime ambition and became a teacher, a career he enjoyed for thirty years. An experience he recounts in Teacher Man.

Frank McCourt was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Angela's Ashes. In 2002 he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Western Ontario.

Angela's Ashes has proved controversial in Limerick, with the local residents not liking the portrayal of themselves and their fair city.

Frank McCourt writes in a strange rambling style and does not use quotation marks to delineate speech.

Angela's Ashes has been turned into a film.

Together with his brother Malachy McCourt, a former radio host, he created the stage play A Couple of Blaguards, a two-man show about their lives and experiences.

Books by Frank McCourt have been registered as BookCrossing books.

BookCrossing books are released into the wild and their progress tracked through the Internet via a unique Book Crossing ID (BCID).

(c) Keith Parkins 2008 -- February 2008 rev 0