Frank McCourt: 1930-2009

Frank McCourt
Frank McCourt

Award-winning author Frank McCourt died in July 2009 at age 78. His memoir depicting a harsh childhood in Ireland, Angela’s Ashes, not only won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, but also the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Check out a few of Frank McCourt’s books at the Library or view some documentaries about his family and the feature film adaptation of Angela’s Ashes.

Books by Frank McCourt | Films

Books by Frank McCourt

Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir
By Frank McCourt
This luminous memoir by Frank McCourt depicts his childhood 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.

'Tis book jacket

‘Tis: A Memoir
By Frank McCourt
‘Tis is the story of Frank's American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur. The same vulnerable but invincible spirit that captured the hearts of readers in Angela's Ashes comes of age.

Teacher Man: A Memoir
By Frank McCourt
In Teacher Man McCourt turns his attention to the subject that he most often talks about in his lectures-teaching: why it's so important, why it's so undervalued. He describes his own coming of age-as a teacher, a storyteller, and, ultimately, a writer.

Angela and the Baby Jesus
By Frank McCourt; illustrated by Raúl Colón
McCourt tells a captivating Christmas story about his mother as a child, and her attempt to rescue the baby Jesus from the cold church Nativity scene at her church. This beautifully illustrated picture book features lush artwork by award-winning artist Raúl Colón.


Angela’s Ashes

Angela’s Ashes (1999)
This feature film directed by Alan Parker was based on Frank McCourt’s memoir. Life in impoverished Depression-era Ireland holds little promise for young Frank McCourt, the oldest son in a tightly-knit family. Living by his wits, cheered by his irrepressible spirit, and sustained by his mother's fierce love, Frank embarks on an inspiring journey to overcome the poverty of his childhood and reach the land of his dreams: America.

The McCourts of Limerick (1997)
This documentary profiles the surviving McCourt brothers, now living in the United States, as they share memories of family and friends while growing up in Limerick, Ireland. Featuring rare photographs, interviews and personal video footage – including the reunion of the long separated McCourt brothers and the spreading of Angela's actual ashes – this is the story of a family of singers and storytellers, a family with rich minds but a home ripped apart by poverty and strife.

The McCourts of New York (1998)
This sequel to The McCourts of Limerick follows the four McCourt brothers after their arrival in New York from the slums of Limerick. Interviews and footage and stills provide a poignant look at the McCourt family.

Descriptions provided by BookLetters.


Frank McCourt

I was truly saddened to hear of the passing of Frank McCourt. Like millions of others I was moved by Angela's Ashes-the abject poverty and absence of almost anything good, save the occaisional small act of kindness, but his gift of storytelling and sense of humor throughout set him apart and garnered mass appeal. In his Book Teacher Man he writes of being a man who has lost his direction. Staring over the rail of the ship bound for an honor he feels unworthy of, he fantasizes about throwing himself overboard. "I am a poltroon", he says. A poltroon is a fake, a coaster, he is unauthentic. He was amazed at his own fame. "I'm the Mick of the Month", he declared on the Today Show. Far from 15 minutes of fame, let alone a month, his writing so struck a nerve with his readers that neither he nor his works will be forgotten. Godspeed, brother, and thanks for the word poltroon.

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