Monday, 24 September 2007
What I'm reading right now...
My sister brought Angela's Ashes home some time last year but I did not read it for one very good reason: I wasn't in the mood to read about anyone's miserable childhood in Ireland. At the time I did not know several important things, such as that the author had written the book in his sixties after teaching high school in New York for 30 years, nor that he had won both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award for the book, his first. I also haven't read 'Tis, Frank McCourt's account of his early years in the USA. Now that I'm reading Teacher Man, however, I can't wait to get my hands on everything he has written, to fill in the rest of this remarkable man's life - or rather, to enjoy his masterful recounting of it.
I know that Teacher Man will remain my favourite, though. Having taught high school English for twenty-two years, there isn't a single character, situation or emotion with which I cannot identify. This book should be essential reading for every teacher - maybe for everyone. I think it's the most honest and penetrating, unsentimental and profound analysis of the teaching life that I've ever read.