One of my favorite writers passed today. News that saddened me a great deal. I am thankful though that such a man lived and was able to tell the tales he did. If you have not read Angela's Ashes, you really must- you owe it to yourself.
NEW YORK (AP) — Frank McCourt, author of "Angela's Ashes," the Pulitzer Prize-winning "epic of woe" about his impoverished Irish childhood, died Sunday. He was 78.
McCourt had been gravely ill with meningitis and recently was treated for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer and the cause of his death, said his publisher, Scribner. He died at a Manhattan hospice, his brother Malachy McCourt said.
Until his mid-60s, Frank McCourt was known primarily around New York as a creative writing teacher and as a local character — the kind who might turn up in a New York novel — singing songs and telling stories with his younger brother Malachy and otherwise joining the crowds at the White Horse Tavern and other literary hangouts.
The world learned his name, and story, in 1996, after a friend helped him get an agent and his then-unfinished manuscript was quickly signed by Scribner. "Angela's Ashes" was an instant favorite with critics and readers and perhaps the ultimate case of the non-celebrity memoir, the extraordinary life of an ordinary man.
The book has been published in 25 languages and 30 countries.McCourt, a native of New York, was good company in the classroom and at the bar, but few had such a burden to unload. His parents were so poor that they returned to their native Ireland when he was little and settled in the slums of Limerick. Simply surviving his childhood was a tale; McCourt's father was an alcoholic who drank up the little money his family had. Three of