What began as a simple exercise for McCourt to document his life growing up in Limerick, Ireland, has become one of the highest selling books in the 20th century. "All I wanted was my own Library of Congress number," said McCourt when I interviewed him in August 1999.
Angela's Ashes has remained on the New York Times bestseller lists for
the last two years and won Frank a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics
Circle Award in 1997.
Kirkus Reviews writes, "Those whose hearts went out to the little boy who suffered so in Limerick might be put off by the hard-drinking, carousing grownup. But there's no denying McCourt's engaging wit. Is it as rewarding as Angela's Ashes? `Tis."
Noting that Irish-Americans often find themselves boxed in within their own ethnic communities even in such cosmopolitan cities like New York, Frank admits that two of the best things to have happened to him were getting into the US army, which "forced him into the American mainstream", and teaching, which "reinforced it."
'Tis follows him into his 30-year teaching career, and although he has been retired from teaching since 1987, Frank remains a staunch supporter of public education and teachers' rights.
Frank recently appeared on '60 Minutes' with Ed Bradley on September 19 to help launch 'Tis. The '60 Minutes' episode featured Frank back in Limerick, Ireland -- the setting for his bestselling memoir, Angela's Ashes.
These days, McCourt lives in New York with his wife, Elen Frey McCourt. He has been busy since last year promoting his latest book, 'Tis, as well as attending speaking engagements.
The movie adaptation of Angela's Ashes was also released last year, and is now available on video and DVD.
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