The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







'Tis is a memoir written by Frank McCourt. Published in 1999, it begins where Angela's Ashes, McCourt's Pulitzer Prize wining memoir of his miserable childhood in Ireland and finally his re-immigration to America, left off.

The book begins as McCourt lands in Albany, New York, and quickly makes his way to New York City.  McCourt, friendless and clueless about American customs, struggles to integrate himself into American blue-collar society.  He is then drafted into the US Army, sent to Europe, and rises to the rank of corporal.  Upon returning to the United States, he attends New York University despite never having graduated high school.  He falls in love with and eventually marries a middle-class American-born Yankee he meets at college.

After graduating from NYU, he teaches English and Social Studies at McKee Vocational and Technical High School. There, he is forced to deal with apathetic, indifferent students. Eventually, he moves on to teaching at the prestigious Stuyvesant High School. At Stuyvesant, he revises his teaching style and stops heavily relying on books and other teaching resources, developing his own teaching style and becoming an effective teacher.

'Tis examines Frank's relationship to his family and his wife during this time (all his siblings and his mother move to America over the course of the book). Eventually, Frank's relationship with his wife turns south, and they stay together as long as they do only because of their daughter, Margaret Ann (named after Frank’s sister, who died an infant, which is described in Angela's Ashes). Nonetheless, Frank finally leaves them, an action he compares to that of his father leaving his family.

Frank's mother, Angela McCourt, is in increasingly bad health and dies around the same time as Frank's father, Malachy McCourt Sr., dies in Ireland. Frank goes to Ireland to bury his father and his mother's ashes. The book ends after Frank and his brothers scatter Angela's ashes over the graves of her family.

Last updated: 06-29-2005 21:07:02
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46