Frank McCourt is the author of Angela s Ashes and Tis. He was born in Brooklyn in 1930 to recent Irish immigrants Malachy McCourt and Angela Sheehan McCourt. His family moved to Limerick when he was four because of poor prospects in America. Frank McCourt was the oldest child in his family he had three younger brothers, Malachy, Alp hie, and Michael, and he had three younger siblings that died as babies, twins, Oliver and Eugene and a sister Margaret. He grew up poor and almost constantly sick. When he was ten he almost died of typhoid fever.
When he started working in his teens he saved a portion of his wages so he would be able to go to America. When he was nineteen he had saved enough money to take a boat to America. Upon arriving in America he settled in New York. although he left school at age fourteen he managed to talk his way into New York University.
After his graduation he taught in various New York City high schools. Angela s Ashes and Tis are based on Frank McCourt s life story. Angela s Ashes is about his childhood in Limerick, Ireland. Angela s Ashes ends when Frank McCourt is nineteen and he has earned enough money to take a boat to America.
Tis begins with Frank McCourt s arrival in New York. Tis is about Frank McCourt s adult life in America. Frank McCourt wrote Angela s Ashes as an adult looking back on his childhood miseries. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood was the miserable Irish childhood, writes Frank McCourt, Worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood. Although he wrote Angela s Ashes as an adult and by the time he wrote it he knew how things really were, he wrote the book from the point of view of his childhood and how things appeared to a young and naive Frankie McCourt.
Even though Frank McCourt knew many of his troubles were the caused by his father, a stereotypical unemployed drunken Irish man, he remembers fondly how when his father was sober he would tell stories and share his tea while Frankie would sit on his lap. Frank McCourt uses sarcasm in Angela s Ashes and Tis to add a twist of comedy to situations that would otherwise be miserable. By using sarcasm Frank McCourt is able to present how desperate his situation was without making it seem pathetically unhappy. The title Angela s Ashes refers to Frank McCourt s mother Angela Sheehan McCourt. In the book Angela s Ashes whenever Angela was overly stressed or angry she would sit by the fire and stare into the ashes. Angela s Ashes is about all of the miserable situations that affected the McCourt family.
In the title the ashes represent all of these miserable times for Frank McCourt and his family. The title Tis comes from the last few words of Angela s Ashes when Frank McCourt is talking to a fellow Irish passenger on the boat to America. The man says, Isn t this (America) a great country altogether? and Frank McCourt replies, Tis. The title Tis represents America and Frank McCourt s life in America. This is appropriate because Tis is about Frank McCourt s triumph over a poor childhood in Ireland and his ability to make.