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All Quotes by author - Frank McCourt
" Actually, my mother and Alfie came for three weeks' Christmas vacation and stayed for 21 years. I guess my mother never went back because she was lonely. "
" A funeral was a great form of entertainment. A wake was a great form of entertainment. "
" A lot of people say writers start losing their powers after 60 or 65. But I look at the best-seller list and see a book by that 14-year-old gymnast, Dominique Moceanu, and I think, 'Now, what's she going to tell the world? And these 25-year-old rock stars, what are they going to tell the world?' "
" And, of course, they've always condemned dancing. You know, you might touch a member of the opposite sex. And you might get excited and you might do something natural. "
" At 66, you're supposed to die or get hemorrhoids. "
" Autobiography should be more stringent. It should adhere more to the standards of journalism - assuming that journalism has the truth. The memoir gives you more scope, is more poetic, and allows you to play around with your own life. "
" Certain citizens claimed I had disgraced the fair name of the city of Limerick, that I had attacked the church, that I had despoiled my mother's name, and that if I returned to Limerick, I would surely be found hanging from a lamppost. "
" Early in my teaching days, the kids asked me the meaning of a poem. I replied, 'I don't know any more than you do. I have ideas. What are your ideas?' I realized then that we're all in the same boat. What does anybody know? "
" Even when I went to the Lion's Head in the Village, where all you journalists would hang out, I was always peripheral. I was never really part of anything except the classroom. That's where I belonged. "
" Every life is a mystery. There is nobody whose life is normal and boring. "
" Everyone has a story to tell. All you have to do is write it. But it's not that easy. "
" First of all there is always that artistic challenge of creating something. Or the particular experience to take slum life in that period and make something out of it in the form of a book. And then I felt some kind of responsibility to my family. "
" For some reason, I had a responsibility to my family and the people who lived around me. I felt that I had to convey their dignity - the way they dealt with adversity and poverty - and their good humor. "
" For some reason, I wrote about the bed we slept in when I was a kid. It was a half-acre of misery, that bed, sagging in the middle, red hair sticking out of the mattress, the spring gone and the fleas leaping all over the place. "
" Happiness is hard to recall. Its just a glow. "
" He came to the States in 1963, I think with a view to making up with my mother, but that didn't work. He came for three weeks, and drank his way all over Brooklyn. And went back... I went to his funeral in Belfast. "
" I admire certain priests and nuns who go off on their own and do God's work on their own, who help in the ghettos, but as far as the institution of the church is concerned, I think it is despicable. "
" I became a teacher all right. I wanted to become a teacher because I had a misconception about it. I didn't know that I'd be going into - when I first became a high school teacher in New York, that I'd be going into a battle zone, and no one prepared me for that. "
" I can do no more than tell the truth. "
" I can't go too much into my domestic life because there are ex-wives ready to do me in. "
" I certainly couldn't have written 'Angela's Ashes' when my mother was alive, because she would have been ashamed. "
" I couldn't even pick up the newspaper without saying, 'This is a fine piece of writing. I wish to hell I could write like this.' "
" I couldn't fit in the Irish community in New York. I was never one of the boys because they would talk about baseball or basketball, and I knew nothing about it. "
" I didn't have to struggle at all to get an agent and a publisher. Everything fell into my lap. "
" I didn't know you could write about yourself. Nobody ever told me about this. "
" I don't know anything about a stock! "
" I don't see myself as either Irish or American, I'm a New Yorker. "
" If ever you are to be visited by the Holy Ghost, you should make certain you're sitting beside a fireman. "
" If I had millions and millions and millions of dollars, I'd leave a large portion to the 42nd Street library. That's why - that was my hangout, the reading rooms, the North and South reading rooms. I'd go there, and my God, I couldn't believe I had access to all of these books. That was my university. "
" If I have a cause, it's the cause of the teacher. "
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