US author McCourt dead at 78: Angela's Ashes
Jul 20, 2009, 15:17 GMT
A file picture dated 16 May 2006 shows US writer Frank McCourt posing for photographers as he presents Spanish-language version of his novel \'Teacher Man\' in Madrid, Spain. US author Frank McCourt, whose 1996 book Angela‘s Ashes brought him world fame, died on 19 July at age 78, the New York Times reported. EPA/J.J. GUILLEN
New York - US author Frank McCourt, whose 1996 book Angela's Ashes brought him world fame, died Sunday at age 78, the New York Times reported.
McCourt's brother Malachy McCourt, also a writer, said his brother suffered from metastasized melanoma and had become gravely ill with meningitis.
McCourt had been treated in hospital for melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer that can spread through the body, and his condition had deteriorated rapidly over the last two weeks, in which he lost his ability to see and hear.
The Brooklyn-born Irish-American author had taught English for decades in New York City. After McCourt retired, he turned to writing the memoir Angela's Ashes, based on his difficult childhood. The book sold 6 million copies and brought him the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for biography.
Born August 19, 1930, in Brooklyn as the first of seven children to his immigrant Irish family, the McCourts returned home to Ireland during the Depression, where they lived a life of poverty. The father was an alcoholic and drank up his meager wages, the mother could barely feed the children and three of them died.
The experiences are graphically described in Angela's Ashes. Two later books - 'Tis (1999) and Teacher Man (2005) - were also bestsellers, but received less favourable reviews.