rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed Angela’s Ashes but was disappointed by ‘Tis. I had hopes that Teacher Man would return to the joyful optimism of McCourt’s first novel, and I was not let down.
Teacher Man covers some of the same time span as ‘Tis, but, as McCourt himself says in the preface, he realized after finishing ‘Tis that people may have gotten the impression that he suffered his life as a teacher, and he wanted to right that mis-perception.
Teacher Man is a celebration of what we can learn about ourselves when we help others. McCourt’s own suffering, which he celebrates here much as he did in Ashes, rather than lamenting as he did in ‘Tis, is more of a backdrop to the main story. In each chapter he picks out a story or two to illustrate how his teaching method evolved over the years, and as he learns to trust the pedagogue within him, we watch the shifting times and era of his life.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Angela’s Ashes. You do not need to have read ‘Tis to read this, and you might be happier skipping it.