January 04, 1999 12:00 AM

Frank McCourt — whose best-selling family memoir “Angela’s Ashes” spawned a Pulitzer Prize, a just-published sequel called ” ‘Tis” and an upcoming movie — says he lost the ashes of his mother, Angela. McCourt told “60 Minutes” his mother wanted her ashes returned to Limerick, Ireland, after she died in America in 1981. He says he met his brother, writer Malachy McCourt, in a New York bar to hand over the ashes so Malachy could carry them to Ireland. But the two got to drinking . . . and forgot all about their departed mother’s remains. (The guys later retraced their steps and found them.)

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