A Memoir

Book - 1999
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A #1 New York Times bestseller and the eagerly anticipated sequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Angela's Ashes , this masterpiece from Frank McCourt tells of his American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur.

Frank McCourt's glorious childhood memoir, Angela's Ashes, has been loved and celebrated by readers everywhere for its spirit, its wit and its profound humanity. A tale of redemption, in which storytelling itself is the source of salvation, it won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Rarely has a book so swiftly found its place on the literary landscape.

And now we have 'Tis, the story of Frank's American journey from impoverished immigrant to brilliant teacher and raconteur. Frank lands in New York at age nineteen, in the company of a priest he meets on the boat. He gets a job at the Biltmore Hotel, where he immediately encounters the vivid hierarchies of this "classless country," and then is drafted into the army and is sent to Germany to train dogs and type reports. It is Frank's incomparable voice--his uncanny humor and his astonishing ear for dialogue--that renders these experiences spellbinding.

When Frank returns to America in 1953, he works on the docks, always resisting what everyone tells him, that men and women who have dreamed and toiled for years to get to America should "stick to their own kind" once they arrive. Somehow, Frank knows that he should be getting an education, and though he left school at fourteen, he talks his way into New York University. There, he falls in love with the quintessential Yankee, long-legged and blonde, and tries to live his dream. But it is not until he starts to teach--and to write--that Frank finds his place in the world. The same vulnerable but invincible spirit that captured the hearts of readers in Angela's Ashes comes of age.

As Malcolm Jones said in his Newsweek review of Angela's Ashes, "It is only the best storyteller who can so beguile his readers that he leaves them wanting more when he is done...and McCourt proves himself one of the very best." Frank McCourt's 'Tis is one of the most eagerly awaited books of our time, and it is a masterpiece.
Publisher: New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, c1999.
ISBN: 9780684865744
Characteristics: 367 pages ; 25 cm.


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" They meet me on the streets and tell me that i look grand, that i look more like a Yank all the time. Alice Egan argues, Frankie McCourt hasn't changed one hour, not one hour. Isn't that right, Frankie?/ I don't know, Alice./ You don't have the slightest bit of an American accent./ Whatever friends i had in Limerick are gone, dead or emigrated, and I don't know what to do with myself. I could read all day in my mother's house but why did I come all the way from New York to sit on my arse and read? I could sit in pubs all night and drink but I could have done that in New York, too./ I walk from from one end of the city to the other and out into the country where my father walked endlessly. People are polite but they're working and have families and I'm a visitor, a returned Yank./ Is that yourself, Frankie McCourt?/ 'Tis./ When did you come?/ Last week./ And when are you going back?/ Next week./ That's grand. I'm sure your poor mother is glad to have you at home and I hope the weather keeps fine for you./ They say, I suppose you notice all kinds of changes in Limerick?/ Oh, yes. More cars, fewer snotty noses and scabby knees. No barefoot children. No women in shawls./ Jesus, Frankie McCourt, them's peculiar things to be noticing./ "

Aug 18, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed Angela's Ashes in book and audiobook form. Slightly less so 'Tis, although it is a good complement to the first book with biographical details after Frank's return to New York. Its ending seems conclusive and, since his third book Teacher Man is more of an afterthought that I found rambly and overly repetitive, I think it might have been better to just expand the latter parts of this second book instead. On a side note, it was interesting to learn the author knew the Clancy brothers.

Nov 07, 2017

I've just read all 3 of his autobiographies - Angela's Ashes, Teacher Man and 'Tis, in this order.

I absolutely loved Angela's Ashes and thoroughly enjoyed Teacher Man. But like some other reviewers I found 'Tis repeating too much of what is in his other books and boring, especially the last third. He could have included the key points of 'Tis in his other two books.

Plus I have to agree with other reviewers - he spent a lot of his life being confused and irresponsible. He desperately wanted a relationship but when he had one he didn't work at it. And he had money for booze but not to improve his living conditions and teeth.

JCLJoyceM Apr 20, 2016

Not as dismal as "Angela's Ashes," "'Tis" follows Frank McCourt's return to America after growing up bitterly poor in Ireland. Life in New York does not instantly change his life to one of easy living or luxury. The rambling, run-on sentences propel you through the book in a breathless sort of way as if McCourt barely had a minute to stop and process this life in America. The manner in which he repeats his or others' thoughts adds to this rhythm. But if you want a cheerful book, this is not for you.

Jun 29, 2013

Much more interesting than Angela's Ashes but still a tedious read. I read this because I wanted to know what happened after Angela's Ashes. But my recommendation is to just not start the series.

Jun 12, 2011

I preferred Angela's Ashes and found that my distaste for some of frank mccourt's adventures negatively affected how much i enjoyed this book (it hurts to see him makes some of the same mistakes, to a elsser extent, that his father made). but i still love the way he writes!

Mar 11, 2011

This was a fantastic book. I actually listed to Angela's Ashes on CD. All three of his books..this book is followed by Teacher Man - Also a great read/listen - are read by Frank McCourt. He falls in line with the great Irish storytellers. He really gets into the reading and it makes you feel like you are listening to a great story from someone right in front of you. Its anything but dry. I'm listening to the book for a third time at work. Its fantastic. The part where he writes a phone number on a napkin so he doesnt have to dig through the trash is my favorite.

Apr 13, 2010

Just as funny as Angela's Ashes, and not nearly as sad overall (although still has sad parts). I'm convinced that this book and Angela's Ashes were supposed to be 1 book, as what I thought "Angela's Ashes" were at the end of the first book is very different from what it was in "'Tis", and makes much more sense to me!

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