Sunday, July 19, 2009

Frank McCourt has died.

Yeesh. When it rains it pours:

Frank McCourt, the retired New York City schoolteacher who launched his late-in-life literary career by tapping memories of his grim, poverty-stricken childhood in Ireland to write the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir "Angela's Ashes," has died.

Frank McCourt captured the mixture of sweetness and melancholy that is what I love about my Irish heritage. My father (also named Frank) and McCourt had very similar stories: both his and my Father's families came to America in the twenties, and both fled back to Ireland when the Great Depression brought immense suffering to America.

Reading "Angela's Ashes"was almost overwhelming for me: there is a certain habit of melancholy that is worn by the Irish, and McCourt could capture the character and cause of that melancholia like few authors I've read.

RIP Frank. Say hi to Dad.

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