Thursday, July 23, 2009

Frank McCourt

You’ve probably heard: Frank McCourt has died. I don’t know the cause but I hope he didn’t suffer long. But if he did he must have done so with a marvelous sense of humor. I remember when I was first reading Angela’s Ashes and loving it, laughing out loud in a few places. The book wasn’t well known then and I can remember somebody asking me what I was reading that was so funny. I said something like “Oh, this is a marvelous story about a young boy who grows up in extreme poverty in Ireland. His father is a hopeless drunk. His mother is massively depressed. He has to filch food to eat. Babies die. It’s a great story.” (This I say after being overhead laughing out loud). Awkward.

But that’s what I like about a good memoir. The struggle. The overcoming difficult obstacles. Discovering strength in adversity. Being able to look back over a difficult journey and find the humour that was along the way. Or even just finding amusement in everyday life, difficult or not. And Frank McCourt was good at that. What a marvelous writer.

I made my own attempt at a bit of a memoir. Well, not actually a memoir. More of a memory. It’s actually more like a fictionalized memory. Anyway, in case you missed it, here’s the link: Gizzard Pearls. It’s not near as good as anything Frank McCourt could write but I thank him for his inspiration. Can’t wait to read his next novel about life in Heaven!

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