Frank McCourt: 1931 – 2009
The Pullitzer-prize winning author Frank McCourt died yesterday at the age of 78. His brother told the Associated Press that he had recently been treated for melanoma when he fell gravely ill with meningitis.
McCourt, a former teacher, rose to fame and fortune at the age of 66 with the publication of his autobiographical novel Angela’s Ashes in 1996. He told the New York Times in 1997:
I’m a late bloomer… I wanted to do this book badly. I would have to do it, or I would have died howling.
Ashes, which depicts McCourt’s grim childhood in Ireland with an alcoholic father, won the Pullitzer Prize for biography, the National Book Critic Award for non-fiction and was made into a feature film in 1999. He also wrote Tis, a sequel to Ashes, in 1999 and Teacher Man, about his experiences teaching in the New York city public school system, in 2005.
Below is a clip from 2007 of McCourt discussing his writing process.