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The miserable childhood

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Let me be blunt. If you want more interesting writing in this corner of the paper, you shouldn't be reading my column. I don't have the background for it. Ernest Hemingway wrote that the best early training for a writer is an unhappy childhood. Frank McCord, who grew up in Limerick, Ireland, author of the unforgettable "Angela's Ashes" (when you read it, you'll never forget it) had his own bitter recipe: "When I look back at my childhood, I wonder how I survived at all.

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