Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Author and raconteur Frank McCourt, in his autobiography, “has examined his ferocious childhood, walked around it, relived it, and with skill and care and generosity of heart, transformed it into a triumphant work of art,” writes Pete Hamill.
Frank McCourt has written a triumphant book. His memoir of an Irish childhood is in turns hilarious, heart-scalding, bitterly angry. It takes us through a world of daily, repetitive, cyclical horror in “the lanes” of Limerick in the 1930s and 1940s, providing the sort of soul-murdering detail that no survivor can ever forget. But McCourt’s soul was not murdered. This book is the proof of his survival. This book, this affirmation of humane values in the face of all odds, is his triumph.
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all,” he writes on the first page. “It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I was amazed, but declined the offer. All throughout Italy I kept seeing the same golden telephone on a marble column. At each, I asked about it and the answer was always the same: a direct line to Heaven and I could call for a thousand dollars.
After Italy I finished up my vacation with a tour of Ireland. I decided to attend Mass at a local village Church. When I walked in the door I noticed the golden telephone. Underneath it there was a sign stating: "DIRECT LINE TO HEAVEN, 25 CENTS."
"Father," I said, "I have been all over Italy and in all the cathedrals I visited I've seen telephones exactly like this one. But the price is always a thousand dollars. Why is it that this one is only 25 cents?"
"The priest smiled and said, "Darlin', you're in Ireland now. It's a local call."