A Monk Swimming
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|Followed by||Singing My Him Song|
A Monk Swimming (1998) is a memoir by Malachy McCourt of his life in Limerick, Ireland, and of his experiences when he came to America. The book recounts the journey and the many obstacles that McCourt had to overcome. After first working as a longshoreman, he was able to open a successful Manhattan tavern frequented by entertainment celebrities, and appeared on television talk shows, although neglecting his wife and child.
This memoir picks up roughly where Frank McCourt, the author's older brother, left off at the end of his Pulitzer Prize–winning Angela's Ashes. This book was written and published before the elder McCourt published his own sequels, 'Tis and Teacher Man.
Malachy McCourt's account of his early years in New York City and its surrounding areas lends a different, if not altogether more brusque, account of the McCourt Brothers respective returns to their native United States.
Some notable sections include:
- A chance meeting with Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at a football club reception for the couple.
- A "summer of content" spent living, drinking, and carrying on with married women in Ocean Bay Park, Fire Island at night while by days selling The Bible door-to-door across the Great South Bay in Bay Shore, Long Island.
- The description of the Ancient Order of Hibernians as "Ireland's most mediocre sons" (paraphrase). This seems to be tied to their banning of homosexual groups from marching in the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade.
The book is dedicated to New York City politician, humanitarian, and fellow Irishman Paul O'Dwyer, who at the time of first publication had recently died. McCourt and O'Dwyer had been close friends and politically like-minded.
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