Saturday, April 7, 2007

Summer Reads Part 3

Teacher Man by Frank McCourt

At age 66, Frank McCourt published his memoirs, and Angela's Ashes (Pulitzer Prize winner) and 'Tis. Ten years later, his third memoir has come out. This book focuses on 30 years of teaching experience that shaped McCourt's writing career. Hmmm, let me see, I'll be on my 26th year in teaching. So there must be hope for me as a writer yet. :)

I've read his first two memoirs and they were really moving and poignant. Angela's Ashes reads like an Irish version of a poor Pinoy's life in the slums. Squalor, nerve- and gut-wrenching poverty, bigotry, sickness, death, you name it. 'Tis chronicles his life in the USA and the struggles he went through to carve his niche.

A Monk Swimming by Malachy McCourt

First, before you get turned off by the "sacred & profane" image evoked by the title, an explanation from Malachy McCourt, Frank's younger brother: the title is from the prayer Hail Mary: Blessed are you amongst women (the last two words misheard by him as a monk swimming).

Following in his brother's footsteps, Malachy carefully avoids treading the same biographical ground (their common childhood) by recounting his upbeat life in the USA as a raconteur, actor, bar owner.

Now this is a serio-comic tandem of books I plan to read back-to-back.


BatJay said...

i love frank mccourt's TEACHER MAN. i got the book last year after hearing a newsweek interview he gave on the book. i hope you teach like him - what a character.

rolly said...

26 years? I'm three years shy. I need more practice then.

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