frank mccourt has published just one book, Angela's Ashes. It won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; it has sold 1.8 million copies in its Flamingo editions alone and tens of millions worldwide. For thirty years he taught in NYC schools, before, in his 60s, settling down to write his story.
So what happened after McCourt arrived in America? He was saved by a wayward priest, joined the Democratic party, got accepted by New York University though he had no high school diploma, ended up as a schoolteacher, and finally wrote one of the biggest nonfiction best sellers of all time. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
The appeal of McCourt as a reader of his own memoirs (Angela's Ashes flourished commercially on audio, in both abridged and unabridged formats) lies in his ability to express a sustained sense of wonder at the world around him. Also, his brogue is classic, an Irish species unto itself. Here he takes up where he left off in his last book, arriving in America. He is first guided by an Irish bartender who tells him to go to the New York Public Library and read Samuel Johnson. Thus assimilated, he becomes a supply clerk for the army, stationed in postwar Germany, then a warehouse laborer living in a rooming house, before earning a college degree at NYU and settling down as a teacher at a rowdy vocational high school in Staten Island. Along the way come romance and immigrant's-eye life observations aplenty, and a growing sense of knowingness develops even as McCourt's hopes are dashed against disillusions. Simultaneous release with the Scribner hardcover. Also available unabridged and on CD. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.