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Angela's Ashes

A Memoir

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Paperback published by Scribner (Scribner)

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About This Book
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised 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. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela’s Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.

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“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised 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. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela’s Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.

Product Details
Paperback (368 pages)
Published: May 25, 1999
Publisher: Scribner
Imprint: Scribner
ISBN: 9780684842677
Other books byFrank McCourt
  • Teacher Man

    Teacher Man
    A Memoir
    Here at last in paperback is Frank McCourt's critically acclaimed and bestselling book about how his thirty-year teaching career shaped his second act as a writer. Teacher Man is also an urgent tribute to teachers everywhere. In bold and spirited prose featuring his irreverent wit and heartbreaking honesty, McCourt records the trials, triumphs and surprises of teaching in public high schools. Teacher Man shows McCourt developing his unparalleled ability to tell a great story as, five days a week, five periods per day, he works to gain the attention and respect of unruly, hormonally charged or indifferent adolescents. For McCourt, storytelling itself is the source of salvation, and in Teacher Man the journey to redemption--and literary fame--is an exhilarating adventure.

    Tis

    Tis
    A Memoir
    Frank McCourt’s glorious childhood memoir, Angela’s Ashes, has been loved and celebrated by readers everywhere for its spirit, its wit and its profound humanity. A tale of redemption, in which storytelling itself is the source of salvation, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Rarely has a book so swiftly found its place on the literary landscape. And now we have ’Tis, the story of Frank’s American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur. Frank lands in New York at age nineteen, in the company of a priest he meets on the boat. He gets a job at the Biltmore Hotel, where he immediately encounters the vivid hierarchies of this “classless country,” and then is drafted into the army and is sent to Germany to train dogs and type reports. It is Frank’s incomparable voice—his uncanny humor and his astonishing ear for dialogue—that renders these experiences spellbinding. When Frank returns to America in 1953, he works on the docks, always resisting what everyone tells him, that men and women who have dreamed and toiled for years to get to America should “stick to their own kind” once they arrive. Somehow, Frank knows that he should be getting an education, and though he left school at fourteen, he talks his way into New York University. There, he falls in love with the quintessential Yankee, long-legged and blonde, and tries to live his dream. But it is not until he starts to teach—and to write—that Frank finds his place in the world. The same vulnerable but invincible spirit that captured the hearts of readers in Angela’s Ashes comes of age. As Malcolm Jones said in his Newsweek review of Angela’s Ashes, “It is only the best storyteller who can so beguile his readers that he leaves them wanting more when he is done...and McCourt proves himself one of the very best.” Frank McCourt's ’Tis is one of the most eagerly awaited books of our time, and it is a masterpiece.

    Angela and the Baby Jesus

    Angela and the Baby Jesus
    When my mother, Angela, was six years old, she felt sorry for the Baby Jesus in the Christmas crib at St. Joseph's Church near School House Lane where she lived.... * * * * Frank McCourt's Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes is a modern classic. Now he has written a captivating Christmas story about Angela as a child -- often cold and hungry herself -- compelled to rescue the Baby Jesus and take him home. This story is pure McCourt -- genuine, irreverent and moving. It is elegantly illustrated by two-time Golden Kite Award winner Loren Long and is the perfect Christmas story for all ages.

    Brothers

    Brothers
    26 Stories of Love and Rivalry
    "The next best thing to not having a brother (as I do not) is to have Brothers." —Gay Talese Here is a tapestry of stories about the complex and unique relationship that exists between brothers. In this book, some of our finest authors take an unvarnished look at how brothers admire and admonish, revere and revile, connect and compete, love and war with each other. With hearts and minds wide open, and, in some cases, with laugh-out-loud humor, the writers tackle a topic that is as old as the Bible and yet has been, heretofore, overlooked. Contributors range in age from twenty-four to eighty-four, and their stories from comic to tragic. Brothers examines and explores the experiences of love and loyalty and loss, of altruism and anger, of competition and compassion—the confluence of things that conspire to form the unique nature of what it is to be and to have a brother. “Brother.” One of our eternal and quintessential terms of endearment. Tobias Wolff writes, “The good luck of having a brother is partly the luck of having stories to tell.” David Kaczynski, brother of “The Unabomber”: “I’ll start with the premise that a brother shows you who you are—and also who you are not. He’s an image of the self, at one remove . . . You are a ‘we’ with your brother before you are a ‘we’ with any other.” Mikal Gilmore refers to brotherhood as a “fidelity born of blood.” We’ve heard that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But where do the apples fall in relation to each other? And are we, in fact, our brothers’ keepers, after all? These stories address those questions and more, and are, like the relationships, full of intimacy and pain, joy and rage, burdens and blessings, humor and humanity.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • My father and mother should have stayed in New York where they met and married and where I was born.

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  • My father and mother should have stayed in New York where they met and married and where I was born.

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  • Shakespeare is like mashed potatoes, you can never get enough of him.

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  • When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived it all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary...

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  • 'Tis.

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