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Angela's Ashes: A Memoir

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive 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."

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy-- exasperating, irresponsible and beguiling-- does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors--yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela's Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.

About the Author

Frank McCourt (1930-2009) was born in in Brooklyn, New York, to Irish immigrant parents, grew up in Limerick, Ireland, and returned to America in 1949. For thirty years he taught in New York City high schools. His first book, Angela's Ashes, won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the L.A. Times Book Award. In 2006, he won the prestigious Ellis Island Family Heritage Award for Exemplary Service in the Field of the Arts and the United Federation of Teachers John Dewey Award for Excellence in Education.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780684843131
Author:
Mccourt, Frank
Publisher:
Scribner
Author:
McCourt, Frank
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Ireland
Subject:
Ethnic Cultures - General
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Irish americans
Subject:
Limerick (Limerick, Ireland)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B102
Publication Date:
April 1997
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
6.75 x 4.19 in 7.665 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

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