Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
- Publish Date: 1999-05-25
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Frank McCourt
A Pulitzer Prizeâwinning, #1 New York Times bestseller, Angelaâs Ashes is Frank McCourtâs masterful memoir of his childhood in Ireland.
âWhen 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.â
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. Frankâs mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frankâs father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachyâexasperating, irresponsible, and beguilingâdoes nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his fatherâs 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 Frankâs survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pigâs 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 neighborsâyet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.
Angelaâs Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourtâs astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.