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Malachy Mccourt

Malachy Mccourt

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'Angela's Ashes' author Frank McCourt on death's doorstep as he battles meningitisBY Dave GoldinerDAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Updated Thursday, July 16th 2009, 9:42 PM Altman for NewsAuthor Frank McCourt is battling meningitis and is not expected to live, his brother said.Take our PollWork of Frank McCourtWhich is your favorite of the famed local author and NYC school teacher's books? Angela's AshesTisTeacher ManFrank McCourt, who went from teaching English in city schools to winning a Pulitzer for "Angela's Ashes," is gravely ill with meningitis, his family said.The 78-year-old author, who has been fighting skin cancer, is in a hospice and "his faculties [are] shutting down," brother Malachy McCourt said Thursday.

"He is not expected to live." McCourt had been undergoing treatment for deadly melanoma, but was doing well enough that doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center let him return to his home in Connecticut.

"He was out and about, being active, doing talks and so forth," said Malachy McCourt, also a writer.

About two weeks ago, Frank McCourt contracted meningitis and his condition deteriorated rapidly.

Malachy McCourt said about one in 25 melanoma patients also wind up getting meningitis and "he was one of the unfortunate ones." "He's still conscious, but his hearing has gone and his eyesight is going," Malachy McCourt said.

"He's speaking less." The unlikely literary star taught English in New York public schools for decades, including 17 years at Stuyvesant High School.

He shot to international prominence in 1996 with the publication of his first book, "Angela's Ashes," which became an instant best seller, won a fistful of awards and was made into a movie.

The eloquent memoir tells the story of his impoverished youth in Limerick, Ireland, after his immigrant parents returned there from Brooklyn when he was 4 years old.

A second book, "'Tis" continued his life story in New York.

His third, "Teacher Man," chronicled his years in the classroom.

He described it as one of his greatest honors when he was invited to give the 1997 address to Stuyvesant grads.

"This is something else," he said, after delighting the crowd with an irreverent speech.

"This means something to me." [email protected] by Yahoo!EmailPrintRssShareDiggStumbleUponFacebookSee all share links >>Del.icio.usMixxRedditPropellerNewsvineFurl
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