Monday, 20 July 2009

R.I.P. Frank McCourt

Even though he was 78, the news still shocked me. Chauncey Mabe, former books editor at the Florida Sun-Sentinel who now writes a blog for the Florida Center for the Literary Arts, has written a tribute here. I'll repeat my comment on his post:
This is indeed sad news. As a former teacher in the process of reinventing myself I take a particular pride in Frank McCourt’s achievements. Teacher Man is the most unsentimental and profound reflection on the profession that I’ve read. The prologue to that memoir was circulated among my teaching colleagues; it is a brilliant, painful shaft to the heart: Yes, he’s one of us. He knows.
He will be sorely missed, but he’ll live on in his work.
I reviewed Teacher Man on this blog almost two years ago. (The post is here.) His other books, Angela's Ashes (for which he won a Pulitzer Prize) and 'Tis, have been languishing on my wish list for too long. I'm moving them to the head of the queue.

5 comments:

Flowerpot said...

I thought Angela's Ashes was wonderful - what a sad loss.

Stephe said...

Oh, my. A good one gone. :(

Liane Spicer said...

Flowerpot, I haven't read Angela's Ashes yet, but I plan to soon.

Yes, Stephe. Another good one.

Lane said...

I adored Angela's Ashes and Teacher Man too. A lovely man:-(

Liane Spicer said...

Lane, everything I've read by people who've met him seems to indicate that he was indeed a great guy.

To me he's not just a great guy and a gifted writer, but a symbol of what's possible, of what writing is about essentially: not platform, or age, or good looks or celebrity or the latest publishing trend, but the story and the writing. The industry says memoirs don't sell well? His memoirs sold millions.