Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 368 p.
From the Publisher
"When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to
survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy
childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary
miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet
is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood."
So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in
Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in
the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no
money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely
works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet
Malachy-exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling-does nurture in
Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank
lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and
of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.
Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing
rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and
gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures
poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and
neighbors-yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance,
and remarkable forgiveness.
Angela's Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's
astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all
the marks of a classic.