Irish author Frank McCourt “near death” says brother Malachy

Frank McCourt is in a New York hospice dying of a sudden case of meningitis, Malachy McCourt has confirmed.

Despite having been diagnosed with melanoma earlier this year, McCourt, 76, has been fairly sprightly, doing book tours and talks he was until stricken by the fast moving illness recently. Malachy said:

“He’s not too good at the moment,” said Malachy, an actor, politician and author in his own right. “He was doing fine, but he got meningitis two weeks ago and it turned the whole thing topsy-turvy.”

In 1996, Frank made his literary debut at the age of 66 with Angela’s Ashes, a funny but harrowing tale of the poverty and difficult circumstances endured by he and his siblings growing up in Brooklyn and Limerick City, Ireland. A New York Times review of Angela’s Ashes described the work.

“Writing in prose that’s pictorial and tactile, lyrical but streetwise, (McCourt) does for the town of Limerick what the young Joyce did for Dublin: he conjures the place for us with such intimacy that we feel we’ve walked its streets and crawled its pubs.”

In typical Irish fashion, his critics back on the auld sod weren’t so kind, deriding the work for being “embarrassing,” over-stated and not an accurate representation of Limerick City or Ireland in general in those days. Irish expats on Long Island even held a book burning to protest perceived inaccuracies in the book.

McCourt is not expected to survive the illness.

[Source: The Star]

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