Wednesday 21 March 2018

Letters: 'Angela's Ashes' author Frank McCourt was an inspiration

Frank McCourt with his memoir
Frank McCourt with his memoir "Tis"

My hero, Frank McCourt, died five years ago this week, an event that prompted sorrow mixed with the guilty suspicion that I wasn't really entitled to any. We were strangers, after all, but McCourt was important to me in the unknowing way heroes often are.

On a spring day in 2007, I took the train from Poughkeepsie to New York City to see McCourt and Calvin Trillin at the 92nd Street Y. The event was part of a reading and performance series, but was more like eavesdropping on the men as they chatted in the living room.

The men sat in club chairs flanking a low table and talked about favourite books, about pretentious restaurants and about the ham-fisted response to the massive snowstorms that crippled New York City in the 1970s. "There are still huge piles of snow out in Queens left over from the Lindsey administration," said McCourt.

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