Photo: David Shankbone


“She was seventy-three when she died. Seventy-three and glad to go. Not until then did I begin to understand the nature of her loneliness in Manhattan. Along with that came the guilt. I could have made her life easier. I could have taken her to dinner more often, even walked with her to the park. I could have drawn her out about her life. No, that would have been too much. I knew enough already.”

Frank McCourt

Let it never be forgotten that Frank McCourt chose to take his first big shot at writing the kind of book he loved to teach with a book that undertook to balance the scales for his mother. He hit the target and beyond. A Pulitzer after retirement. A dozen years of celebrity. Over a decade of telling stories to arena-sized audiences. And never did he lose the power to cut himself down to size. Or to tell a story as if there were only one listener who he wanted to reach—you. What made the tale of his tortured childhood a page turner and a barn burner was Frank Mc Court’s secret. He meant to show you what it had been like, but he never asked for anything but an understanding that he’d more than survived it all—he’d gotten out, away and beyond. And you could too.

A toast to Angela’s son. A man who loved life and all who were truly alive around him. He had a great ride, and how generous he was to take so many of us along with him.

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  • From WVFC: Angela’s Son- Frank McCourt « Elizabeth Willse July 20, 2009 at 1:17 pm

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