Angela's Ashes author Frank McCourt ‘may have weeks to live’
Tuesday 14 July 2009
Frank McCourt, the author of bestseller Angela's Ashes, is battling the deadly skin cancer melanoma and may have only weeks to live.
The Pulitzer Prize winner, who is due to celebrate his 79th birthday next month, was transferred to a hospice at the weekend.
According to the writer's brother Malachy McCourt, who spoke publicly about his brother's illness in May, the cancer was then in remission following a course of chemotherapy.
Describing his brother as “a hearty fellow” who had survived worse, Mr McCourt, an actor and author, denied several media reports that his brother was on his deathbed.
After receiving treatment at the world-famous Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in New York, the writer was declared well enough to return home to Connecticut.
However, a friend said yesterday that Mr McCourt's condition has deteriorated dramatically since then and that he is seriously ill.
It is understood he became unwell while on a cruise in the Pacific and was transferred to a hospital in Tahiti.
The Brooklyn-born former schoolteacher shot to fame relatively late in life with the publication of ‘Angela's Ashes' in 1996, when he was 56 years of age.
The memoir tells the tale of his impoverished childhood in Limerick after his alcoholic father Malachy and his mother Angela moved back there when he was just four years old. The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1997.
His second book, ‘’Tis', picked up the story of his life where Angela's Ashes left off, with his arrival in America at age 19.
His 2005 memoir, ‘Teacher Man', chronicled his 27-year career in the New York City school system.
Both books were instant bestsellers.
For 30 years, Mr McCourt taught in New York City high schools, having earned a degree at New York University.
He recently made his first venture into children's books with ‘Angela and the Baby Jesus', based on an incident from the childhood of his mother Angela. In an interview at the end of 2007 he said that he was in the middle of writing his first novel, and was also planning a book for teenagers.
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
- 2 Lisa Randolph-Gant: Queen Elsa cake maker says she will carry on baking and will not let people 'break her spirit'
- 3 Tube strike: This pedestrian-friendly map tells you the time it takes to walk between stations
- 4 Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2015: Three men gored and 10 hospitalised on first day of festival
- 5 Sarah Jessica Parker explains why she is not a feminist: 'It's not just about women now'
Artist Milo Moire arrested in Paris for taking naked selfies with passers-by in front of the Eiffel Tower
Is Jon Snow dead? Theories stoked by Kit Harrington's longer hair despite Game of Thrones director claiming he's 'deader than dead'
Noel Gallagher actually gives Kanye West some credit for his Glastonbury headline set: 'For half an hour it was as good as it gets'
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas run through Google's Deep Dream neural network is pure nightmare fuel
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy