Latest book by Frank McCourt provides the third autobiographical installment

Erin Wynkoop

It is very rare to find a trilogy of memoirs. Most individuals can squeeze an entire lifetime into a 300-page hardback that will eventually make its way to the bargain bin at the local bookstore.

A memoir is the story of a person’s life, a sub-division of the autobiography, but much less structured and conventional. Frank McCourt is no stranger to the memoir. His first, “Angela’s Ashes,” not only won a Pulitzer, but was soon after turned into a major motion picture that was nominated for an Academy Award.

His second memoir, “Tis” was released in 1999 and was an amazing follow-up to the memoir about his childhood in Ireland. It has been six years since “Tis” was released, and the hype preceding the release of “Teacher Man” was making McCourt’s fans (myself included) very excited.

McCourt once again amazes his readers with his ability to turn unfortunate and somewhat embarrassing situations into a work of pure literary genius. McCourt’s tale begins at the age of 27, as he starts his career as a high school teacher in the New York City public school system. McCourt, though thoroughly trained in the field of education, had no idea what he was getting himself into. McCourt tells of his adventure of teaching the teenagers of NYC. Through assignments of picnics and suicide-notes, McCourt finds a way to communicate to his pupils in an honest and self-criticizing way. Though he finds his job frustrating, he never once regrets his decision to teach. McCourt’s wise words are prevalent throughout the entire memoir. McCourt finds a way to educate his readers in the ways of life. He teaches his audience that with a little willpower, anything is possible. The book ends with the words “I’ll try” as a response to a student’s suggestion for McCourt to write a book. The great thing is, he wrote three.