I met Frank McCourt several years ago within the pages of his childhood autobiography Angela’s Ashes. It is indeed a wonderful, funny and moving book about his hard childhood growing up in Ireland.
Whilst Ray Kroc is often cited as an example that it’s never too late to start a successful business (he was essentially the founder of McDonald’s) since he started the business in his 50s, Frank McCourt is often cited as an example that it’s never too late to start writing. The author published his best selling book in his 60s. So there … you’re never too old!
Frank McCourt died a week ago. I was fortunate enough to hear a radio interview yesterday that was replayed on ABC Classic FM.
One thing he mentioned was a seven-course Irish meal. “Wow,” I thought, “this must rival an 8-course Chinese dinner?” He then said, and I’m sure with a huge grin on his face, that the seven-course Irish meal was a 6 pack of beer and a potato!
What wonderful Irish wit!
The other thing he mentioned was writing requires simplicity and clarity. And you need to be a story teller too. He said he learnt all of this when he was teaching teenagers in New York.
He sounded like a very nice man.
Frank McCourt, rest in peace.