Frank McCourtFrank McCourt, Author of Angela's Ashes, Tis, dies at 78, Baltimore Sun
Frank McCourt, Author of Angela's Ashes, Dies, Time Magazine
Memoirs and McCourt, New York Times
Now here's a guy I find worthy of studying, though I've never read any of his books. The most interesting thing to me is his idea of drawing the inner voice out of students; this is something I've been working on for years. "Flat" and "dull" are descriptions of writing by students who are essentially cautious, not themselves flat and dull; almost everyone has the ability to really say things that are interesting. His assignments are interesting too. One is to describe last night's dinner- not your favorite, not the typical, but last night's; down to the detail, with color, and including where everything came from. Another one I read somewhere was an exploration of the art of writing excuses.
I got stuck on his discovery that the simple present tense allowed him to apply a kind of child's detachment and accuracy to his teaching (maybe I should read this book?)...this apparently contributing to the overwhelming success of his book. I have never been a big fan of the simple present tense. I am, however, a fan of children, and of detachment.
It was also pointed out that his portrayal of Catholic priests came at just the right time...nevertheless, a study of his life shows that he at least earned the right to jab them and be a little disdainful. I'd like to study his life more. As a writing teacher myself, who goes home to try to find my "voice" on rare holidays, I could do worse.