Frank McCourt, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Angela’s Ashes– one of the most amazing books I’ve ever had the honor to read; died today. I was saddened to learn of his passing as he was-is one of my favorite authors. Angela’s Ashes is an inspiring memoir that tells Mr. McCourt’s story about growing up poor in Ireland and New York. Told in the pragmatic voice of his child-self Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Asheswill make you laugh out loud, despair, cry, become angry and rejoice.
When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived 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.
. . . nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years.
It is easy to be pleasant when life flows by like a song, but the man worth while is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong. For the test of the heart is trouble, and it always comes with years, and the smile that is worth the praises of earth is the smile that shines through the tears. – Irish saying0