I first heard about Frank McCourt — and heard him — on an interview he did for the BBC; I think it was for Hard Talk but I can’t be sure. On that interview, he spoke about his book Angela’s Ashes, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize, and it interested me enough to go and buy the book. I enjoyed the book and though it’s about poverty and hardships, McCourt’s sense of humour and his writing style made the book an interesting read. (Angela’s Ashes was a memoir of McCourt’s childhood in Ireland.)
I naturally picked up his second book (‘Tis), which picks up where the first one left off, and enjoyed that as well. His third Teacher Man, about his experiences as a teacher, was also an enjoyable read.
McCourt published his first book when he was in his mid-fifties, a fact that Stephen King alludes to in his memoir, On Writing. It’s a good thing that he decided to write about his life – we would’ve missed out on some wonderful writing.
Rest in peace, Frank McCourt.