Frank McCourt Gravely Ill

The Associated Press reports (story appears in USA Today and other papers) that Frank McCourt is close to death, according to his brother, Malachy McCourt.

McCourt was treated for melanoma and was doing well, but contracted meningitis two weeks ago.

His memoir of his deprived childhood, Angela’s Ashes (1996), was a long-running bestseller and also won a Pulitzer Prize. He followed it with ‘Tis (1999), continuing his story into the 1980’s. In Teacher Man (2005), he wrote about his 30-year career in the NYC public school system.

In the following clip from a 2007 interview, McCourt talks about what propelled him to write about his childhood.

The full interview is available at

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