Angela's Ashes

Book Overview
So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy - exasperating, irresponsible and beguiling - does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies. Perhaps it is his story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near starvation and the casual cruelty of the relatives and neighbors - yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance and remarkable forgiveness.

Key Words
Poverty, Immigration, Ireland, Catholicism

RSS Feed on Poverty and Immigration
poverty and immigration - Google News

Angela's Ashes Movie Trailer (video)
This video is a trailer for a movie version of Angela's Ashes. The trailer shows the struggle of a poor Irish family through times of extreme poverty. It shows their drive to get back to America and reach the alleged land of dreams.
Podcast With Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes
This Podcast is from the BBC and is a chat with Frank McCourt, the author of Angela's Ashes about the book. Included in this podcast are questions submited by readers and a reading by McCourt from a passage of the book.
Angela's Ashes Website
This website provides links to literary reviews, newspaper articles, and interviews with Frank McCourt. It also gives insight on the book itself, offering readers to give their own reviews of Angela's Ashes.
Overview of Irish Immigration (website)
This is a website that gives an overview of Irish immigration to America and reasons why throughout different time periods. There are also interviews with some immigrants stories.
Frank McCourt: Angela and the Baby Jesus
This video is a Q&A session by the Commonwealth Club of California with the author of Angela's Ashes Frank McCourt, and discusses the book Angela and the Baby Jesus, describing a children's book memoir also by Frank McCourt. The chat is in chapters (scroll down to see) and discusses many of the same topics in Angela's Ashes.
Current Irish Immigration Issues (podcast/story)
This podcast talks about some of the current issues Irish immigrants face. They want more rights and want to become legal citizens. A representative of the National Immigration Forum says they are out-staying their visas.
Americans' Reaction to Irish Immigration
This website gives insight into how Americans treated Irish Immigrants. The site deals with nativism, how the immigrants were slowly accepted into early 20th century American society and the continued legacy of Irish-Americans. This website is a descriptive piece on the time period.
McCourt Family Story Continues (podcast/story)
This is the story Alphie McCourt wrote from his point of view being ten years younger than his brother Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes. He brings a different perspective and new stories to the tragic McCourt family. This link includes an article and a podcast. In the podcast, McCourt reads an excrept of his book, A Long Stone's Throw.
Immigrants in Ellis Island (video)
This is a video of Irish immigrants arriving in New York's Ellis Island. There's no sound, but it's very cool to see real footage from such a long time ago.
Poverty in Ireland Facts/Statistics
This site is dedicated to explaining, in full detail, poverty in Ireland. Includes the reasons/causes of poverty, the effects of poverty, historical facts on Irish poverty, and CURRENT statistics (like population censi) of poverty in Ireland.
More on the Book
Angela's Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic. As Mary Breasted, author of Why Should You Doubt Me Now, said: "Frank McCourt's book is deeply moving, for his searing story is true. No one has ever written about poverty or childhood like this. That Frank McCourt lives to tell the tale is amazing. That he could create out of such squalor and misery a flawless masterpieces is nothing shor of miraculous."