So, I have officially moved and I get online to check all my writerly blogs to find that a man whom I have admired for a number of years has died. Frank McCourt died on 19 July 2009. He was 78 years old.
Though his most famous book was Angela’s Ashes he also wrote many others. My introduction to the man was through the book Teacher Man. McCourt wrote about what he knew. He wrote about his family life and his time in New York and he did it all with panache. Often, I don’t like memoirs. I find them sappy and overwritten the way I often find romance novels to be. However, I adored this man’s prose. There was nothing flowery and he clearly didn’t want anyone to feel pity for him. He stated the facts. He told his annecdotes. He gave his opinions. He did it all without romanticising the people in his life. The people, himself included, were flawed and honest and wonderful. No one, was black and white good or bad in his writing.
I am sorry to say, that this world has lost a gifted writer, observer, and teacher. While, in his mind, he was only a good man who did his best to live his life, I think that he was a great man. So, rest in peace Frank McCourt. It has been an honour and a priviledge reading your writing.