Author Frank McCourt was the son of Irish immigrants to America. In this excerpt "From New York to Limerick and Back", he shows how many people saw emigration as their only chance for survival and success.
Frank McCourt (1930 - 2009)
Frank McCourt was an American Irish writer and teacher. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, during the Depression years. His parents, Angela and Malachy were poor Irish immigrants. As the Depression really took hold, it became impossible for his parents to make a living in the New World, and they had to swallow their pride and return to Limerick, Ireland. Here the McCourts sank even lower into poverty and had to face humiliation and prejudice. Frank's father with his background from Northern Ireland is met with hostility and suspicion in the newly founded Republic and the refuge he seeks in alcohol does not make it any easier.
McCourt's autobiographical novel Angela's Ashes (1997) is the story as observed by Frank, about his poverty-stricken family from the early 1930's until Frank returns to the USA as an eighteen year old. It was adapted to film in 2000.