Frank McCourt, the Irish-American storyteller who parlayed the miseries of a Limerick upbringing into an extraordinary late-life literary blooming, died of cancer Sunday in New York City.
McCourt, 78, had spent the past 13 years buoyantly touring the globe on reading tours and writing two sequels to his 1996 best-seller, "Angela's Ashes," which sold more than 5 million copies and was translated into more than 20 languages, reports Los Angeles Times.
McCourt, the beloved former school teacher and author of "Angela's Ashes," died Sunday of cancer. He was 78, gravely ill with meningitis and recently was treated for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer and the cause of his death, said his publisher, Scribner.
"We had this big dinner party in Roxbury (Conn.) last month, and he was there," said author Gay Talese, a longtime friend. "I made him a vodka martini, and he didn't look at all like he was going to disappear from the Earth in a month. He was very jovial, as usual," The Associated Press reports.
As Eric Konigsberg writes, Mr. McCourt was the first to say that “those years, while depriving him of the time to actually write, were what made a writer out of him.” And his students learned from him that “literature was nothing more — and nothing less — than the telling of stories”, informs New York Times.