Book Recommendation: Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir

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Publisher: Scribner

Publication Date: 1st Touchstone Edition (May 25, 1999)

Page Number: 368

Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir is written by Frank McCourt about his alcoholic father, Malachy, and music loving mother, Angela.  They immigrated to the United States from Ireland for a new beginning.  They had a son while living in New York.  His name was Frank, but Malachy’s inability to keep a job forces the family back to Limerick.  Their outlook is not much better in their “new” home, and the McCourts survive off welfare and begging much to Malachy’s disapproval.  Yet, the couple continue to have more children despite having trouble to adequately care for the ones already born including Frank.  He finds enjoyment in school, which reinforces his desire to one day move back to the United States.  Things begin to look up for Malachy when he finds a job in England at the start of WWII, but leaves his family when it ends once and for all.  This leaves Frank and his siblings to fend for themselves and needing to rely on other family members for shelter.  As you can guess, things don’t get any better either, and Frank breaks from his family to join the military.  He gets a job delivering telegrams and saves money for his future move.  Frank finds himself the “man” of the family when his mother and siblings come to live with him.  Dependent on his income, they are able to eat and sleep in relative peace.  He eventually comes into enough money and at the age of nineteen fulfills his dream of returning to the country where he was born.

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Angela’s Ashes won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography in 1997. 

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