In Memory of Frank McCourt

by David Shankbone, CC License

Frank McCourt

Here at Recorded Books, we were very sad to learn about the recent passing of author and narrator Frank McCourt (19 August 1930–19 July 2009). Often described as a "late-bloomer," the son of Irish immigrants was born in Brooklyn, New York but lived in Ireland for much of his childhood. Times were tough—his father was an alcoholic, his mother was struggling just to get by, and he lost three siblings to malnutrition. When he moved back to the United States at age 19, he eventually became a teacher at New York’s renowned Stuyvesant High School. Only after retiring did he begin his memoirs, which eventually became Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award winner (among many other awards) Angela’s Ashes, follow-up ‘Tis, and Teacher Man.

As narrator of his own work in audiobook format, McCourt was a perfect fit. His narration of Teacher Man won an AudioFile Earphones Award and later the Audie Award for Biography/Memoir. After narrating the unabridged text of Angela’s Ashes, McCourt claimed it was an almost “mystical experience.” Check out this article from the Baltimore Examiner, about a listener who discovered audiobooks after listening to Angela’s Ashes.

Learn more about McCourt from this TIME article and this New York Times article, or share your thoughts and feelings about McCourt on this open thread the the New York Times’ ArtsBeat.

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