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Angela's ashes : a memoir / Frank McCourt.

By: McCourt, Frank.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Scribner, c1996Description: 364 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 0684874350.Subject(s): McCourt family | McCourt, Frank -- Family | Irish Americans -- Biography | Irish Americans -- Ireland -- Limerick -- Biography | Limerick (Ireland) -- BiographyDDC classification: 929/.2/0899162073
List(s) this item appears in: PHS - 11 AP - Fiction
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Adult Book Phillipsburg Free Public Library
Adult Non-Fiction PHS Reading List 929.2 MCC Checked out pap.ed. 08/13/2018 36748002294363
Adult Book Phillipsburg Free Public Library
Adult Non-Fiction PHS Reading List 929.2 MCC Available pap.ed. 36748002294371
Adult Book Phillipsburg Free Public Library
Adult Non-Fiction PHS Reading List 929.2 MCC Available pap.ed. 36748002294439
Adult Book Phillipsburg Free Public Library
Adult Non-Fiction PHS Reading List 929.2 MCC Available 36748002294355
Adult Book Phillipsburg Free Public Library
Adult Non-Fiction PHS Reading List 929.2 MCC Available 36748002402594
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

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.

"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.


Excerpt provided by Syndetics

From Chapter IV First Communion day is the happiest day of your life because of The Collectionand James Cagney at the Lyric Cinema. The night before I was so excited Icouldn't sleep till dawn. I'd still be sleeping if my grandmother hadn't come banging at the door. Get up! Get up! Get that child outa the bed. Happiest day of his life an' him snorin' above in the bed. I ran to the kitchen. Take off that shirt, she said. I took off the shirt and she pushed me into a tin tub of icy cold water. My mother scrubbed me, my grandmother scrubbed me. I was raw, I was red. They dried me. They dressed me in my black velvet First Communion suit with the white frilly shirt, the short pants, the white stockings, the black patent leather shoes. Around my arm they tied a white satin bow and on my lapel theypinned the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a picture with blood dripping from it, flames erupting all around it and on top a nasty-looking crown of thorns. Come here till I comb your hair, said Grandma. Look at that mop, it won't lie down. You didn't get that hair from my side of the family. That's that North of Ireland hair you got from your father. That's the kind of hair you see on Presbyterians. If your mother had married a proper decent Limerickman you wouldn't have this standing up, North of Ireland, Presbyterian hair. She spat twice on my head. Grandma, will you please stop spitting on my head. If you have anything to say, shut up. A little spit won't kill you. Come on, we'll be late for the Mass. We ran to the church. My mother panted along behind with Michael in her arms. We arrived at the church just in time to see the last of the boys leaving the altar rail where the priest stood with the chalice and the host, glaring at me. Then he placed on my tongue the wafer, the body and blood of Jesus. At last, at last. It's on my tongue. I draw it back. It stuck. I had God glued to the roof of my mouth. I could hear the master's voice, Don't let that host touch your teeth for if you bite God in two you'll roast in hell for eternity. I tried to get God down with my tongue but the priest hissed at me, Stop that clucking and get back to your seat. God was good. He melted and I swallowed Him and now, at last, I was a member of the True Church, an official sinner. When the Mass ended there they were at the door of the church, my mother with Michael in her arms, my grandmother. They each hugged me to their bosoms. They each told me it was the happiest day of my life. They each cried all over my head and after my grandmother's contribution that morning my head was a swamp. Mam, can I go now and make The Collection? She said, After you have a little breakfast. No, said Grandma.You're not making no collection till you have a proper FirstCommunion breakfast at my house. Come on. We followed her. She banged pots and rattled pans and complained that the whole world expected her to be at their beck and call. I ate the egg, I ate the sausage, and when I reached for more sugar for my tea she slapped my hand away. Go aisy with that sugar. Is it a millionaire you think I am? An American? Is it bedecked in glitterin' jewelry you think I am? Smothered in fancyfurs? The food churned in my stomach. I gagged. I ran to her backyard and threw it all up. Out she came. Look at what he did. Thrun up his First Communion breakfast. Thrun up the bodyand blood of Jesus. I have God in me backyard. What am I goin' to do? I'll takehim to the Jesuits for they know the sins of the Pope himself. She dragged me through the streets of Limerick. She told the neighbors andpassing strangers about God in her backyard. She pushed me into the confessionbox. In the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It's a day since my last confession. A day? And what sins have you committed in a day, my child? I overslept. I nearly missed my First Communion. My grandmother said I have standing up, North of Ireland, Presbyterian hair. I threw up my First Communion breakfast. Now Grandma says she has God in her backyard and what should she do. The priest is like the First Confession priest. He has the heavy breathing andthe choking sounds. Ah...ah...tell your grandmother to wash God away with a little water and for your penance say one Hail Mary and one Our Father. Say a prayer for me and God bless you, my child. Grandma and Mam were waiting close to the confession box. Grandma said, Were you telling jokes to that priest in the confession box? If 'tis a thing I everfind out you were telling jokes to Jesuits I'll tear the bloody kidneys outayou. Now what did he say about God in my backyard? He said wash Him away with a little water, Grandma. Holy water or ordinary water? He didn't say, Grandma. Well, go back and ask him. But, Grandma... She pushed me back into the confessional. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned, it's a minute since my last confession. A minute! Are you the boy that was just here? I am, Father. What is it now? My grandma says, Holy water or ordinary water? Ordinary water, and tell your grandmother not to be bothering me again. I told her, Ordinary water, Grandma, and he said don't be bothering him again. Don't be bothering him again. That bloody ignorant bogtrotter. I asked Mam, Can I go now and make The Collection? I want to see James Cagney. Grandma said, You can forget about The Collection and James Cagney becauseyou're not a proper Catholic the way you left God on the ground. Come on, go home. Mam said, wait a minute. That's my son. That's my son on his First Communion day. He's going to see James Cagney. No he's not. Yes he is. Grandma said, Take him then to James Cagney and see if that will save hisPresbyterian North of Ireland American soul. Go ahead. She pulled her shawl around her and walked away. Mam said, God, it's getting very late for The Collection and you'll neversee James Cagney. We'll go to the Lyric Cinema and see if they'll let you in anyway in your First Communion suit. We met Mikey Molloy on Barrington Street. He asked if I was going to the Lyric and I said I was trying. Trying? he said. You don't have money? I was ashamed to say no but I had to and he said, That's all right. I'll get you in. I'll create a diversion. What's a diversion? I have the money to go and when I get in I'll pretend to have the fit andthe ticket man will be out of his mind and you can slip in when I let out the big scream. I'll be watching the door and when I see you in I'll have a miraculous recovery. That's a diversion. That's what I do to get my brothers in all the time. Mam said, Oh, I don't know about that, Mikey. Wouldn't that be a sin and surelyyou wouldn't want Frank to commit a sin on his Communion day. Mikey said if there was a sin it would be on his soul and he wasn't a proper Catholic anyway so it didn't matter. He let out his scream and I slipped in and sat next to Question Quigley and the ticket man, Frank Goggin, was so worried over Mikey he never noticed. It was a thrilling film but sad in the end because James Cagney was a public enemy and when they shot him they wrapped him in bandages and threw him in the door, shocking his poor old Irish mother, and that was the end of my First Communion day. Copyright © 1996 by Frank McCourt Excerpted from Angela's Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Kirkus Book Review

A powerful, exquisitely written debut, a recollection of the author's miserable childhood in the slums of Limerick, Ireland, during the Depression and WW II. McCourt was born in Brooklyn in 1930 but returned to Ireland with his family at the age of four. He describes, not without humor, scenes of hunger, illness, filth, and deprivation that would have given Dickens pause. His ``shiftless loquacious alcoholic father,'' Malachy, rarely worked; when he did he usually drank his wages, leaving his wife, Angela, to beg from local churches and charity organizations. McCourt remembers his little sister dying in his mother's arms. Then Oliver, one of the twins, got sick and died. McCourt himself nearly died of typhoid fever when he was ten. As awful and neglectful as his father could be, there were also heartrendingly tender moments: Unable to pay for a doctor and fearful of losing yet another child when the youngest is almost suffocating from a cold, his father places ``his mouth on the little nose . . . sucking the bad stuff out of Michael's head.'' Malachy fled to do war work in England but failed to send any money home, leaving his wife and children, already living in squalor, to further fend for themselves. They stole and begged and tore wood from the walls to burn in the stove. Forced to move in with an abusive cousin, McCourt became aware that the man and his mother were having ``the excitement'' up there in their grubby loft. After taking a beating from the man, McCourt ran away to stay with an uncle and spent his teens alternating between petty crime and odd jobs. Eventually he made his way, once again, to America. An extraordinary work in every way. McCourt magically retrieves love, dignity, and humor from a childhood of hunger, loss, and pain. (First serial to the New Yorker; Book-of-the-Month Club and Quality Paperback Book Club alternate selections; author tour)
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