"I'm doomed," joked Frank McCourt at the recent Book Expo America about having to continue the saga begun in his million-copy-selling, Pulitzer-, NBCC-, and ABBY-award winning memoir, Angela's Ashes. Some doom: agent Molly Friedrich has negotiated a reported a $1 million deal with Scribners editor-in-chief Nan Graham to publish the sequel, 'Tis in spring 1999. The new book will cover the years from 1949, when Ashes ends, to 1987, when McCourt retired after 27 years of teaching in New York City schools. The significance of the title? Readers of Ashes will remember that it is the last word in the book and McCourt's response to the question of whether America isn't "a great country altogether." As for an Ashes paperback, Scribner tentatively plans an October '98 publication.
And Frank's brother, Malachy McCourt, is also making literary news. A former bar owner and an actor who regularly appears on the soap opera One Life to Live and has a cameo in the Brad Pitt/Harrison Ford movie The Devil's Own, Malachy had made a $100,000 unagented deal with Marlowe for his memoir, A Monk Swimming, about a year ago and it may now be moving to a major trade house. IMG agent David Chalfant was recently asked by Marlowe publisher John Weber to handle paperback rights; now a hardcover sale may also be in the works. Weber told PW that in any case, the memoir could be out by next spring.
Malachy appears to be a charmer like his brother; at the June 3 Random House Literary Breakfast in New York, he got folks singing the Irish ditty, "Molly Malone." Brother Frank, Denis Donoghue, Mary Gordon, and Colm Toibin were the other panelists.