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Angela's ashes : a memoir
Frank McCourt
Adult Nonfiction E184.I6 M117 1996

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Frank McCourt was born in 1930's Brooklyn to Irish immigrant parents, Malachy and Angela. At the age of four, McCourt and his family moved back to Ireland and settled in Limerick. Shortly thereafter, McCourt's father abandoned the family to a life of poverty and struggle that shaped young Frank's life and future profession as a writer of his own memoirs, the critically acclaimed Angela's Ashes. McCourt attended school until the age of 14, at which point he was forced to drop out to help support the family. In 1949, he scraped together enough money to afford passage back to America. Once there, he worked odd jobs until his decision to go back to school and persuaded New York University to allow him acceptance among the ranks of the collegiate. McCourt began to teach in 1970 at Seward Park High School in Manhatten's Lower East Side. His students led lives similar to his own meager beginnings and in an effort to connect with them, he told them stories of his own impoverished childhood. Hoping to stimulate his income, McCourt occasionally wrote articles for newspapers and magazines, all the while continuing to write down his memoirs. In 1972, McCourt began teaching at the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan where his students constantly delighted him and urged him to pursue his own writings, even as he urged them in their prospective talents. In 1994 McCourt retired from teaching to finally take the time to write the story of his life. After so many years of taking notes and writing down anecdotes, McCourt had compiled an impressive history. This history became the critically acclaimed Angela's Ashes, which hit bookstores in 1996 and went on to become a Pulitzer prize winning story in 1997. McCourt also wrote 'Tis, a book almost as well known as Angela' Ashes. He always told his students to write what they know and write it from the heart. In taking his own advice, he earned the highest honors possible for an author to achieve. He died on July 19, 2009 at the age of 78. (Bowker Author Biography)

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