In Ordinary Time: Fragments of a Family History (Hardback)
  • In Ordinary Time: Fragments of a Family History (Hardback)
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In Ordinary Time: Fragments of a Family History (Hardback)

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£16.99
Hardback 256 Pages
Published: 02/02/2023
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In 1993, aged twenty, Carmel Mc Mahon left Ireland for New York, carrying $500, two suitcases and a ton of unseen baggage. It took years, and a bitter struggle with alcohol addiction, to unpick the intricate traumas of her past and present.

Candid yet lyrical, In Ordinary Time mines the ways that trauma reverberates through time and through individual lives, drawing connections to the events and rhythms of Ireland's long Celtic, early Christian and Catholic history. From tragically lost siblings to the broader social scars of the Famine and the Magdalene Laundries, Mc Mahon sketches the evolution of a consciousness from her conservative 1970s upbringing to 1990s New York, and back to the much-changed Ireland of today.

Publisher: Duckworth Books
ISBN: 9780715654477
Number of pages: 256
Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘Mc Mahon’s personal story is the unifying strand in a bigger, constantly shifting narrative that explores complex cultural and historical terrain’ Sean O’Hagan, Observer

‘Absolutely gripping… in lucid prose that is both direct and lyrical, she burrows through layers of family history and Irish history’ Irish Times

'A vivid, evocative and resonant counterpoint of time, memory and meaning' Joseph O'Connor, award-winning author of Shadowplay

‘A beautiful memoir’ Ryan Tubridy, RTÉ Radio 1

‘A raw, urgent book, its narrative stretched across the year, from Imbolc (the Feast of St Brigid) to Samhain, as it traces love, loss and all else. An extraordinary debut already being likened to Doireann Ni Ghríofa’s  A Ghost in the Throat but this is shaped by its own hauntings’ RTÉ

'Stunning. A work of great emotional and intellectual heft… Truth and honesty shine out of every line’ Mary Costello, author of Academy Street

'Provocative yet dazzling... A mesmerising work threaded with rich veins of history and heart' Sophie White, Irish Independent

‘Beautiful, compelling, thought-provoking… An uncompromising reflection on what it means to be of Irish heritage today, whether at home or abroad’ Tara Flynn

‘Painfully familiar in its account of family loss and trauma in the urban working class, and personal enough never to feel like a survey or aerial view of Irish women’s history. Sensitively written and quietly devastating, it’s the book I had been waiting for’ Niamh Campbell, award-winning author of This Happy

'In Ordinary Time is the best kind of memoir, a braid of the personal and political, the spiritual and global' Cameron Dezen Hammon, award-winning author of This is My Body

'Magnificent... Spare, pristine, bracing – a marvellous book' Carlo Gébler, author of Confessions of a Catastrophist

'Quietly addictive, deeply moving and enlightening' Priscilla Morris, author of Black Butterflies

‘A beautifully-written memoir. It’s a deeply personal, largely confessional work, in which McMahon ties together strands of her life in New York and Ireland with elements from mythology and history, particularly the often horrific history of Irish women. Anyone who has ever emigrated from Ireland will recognise her compelling descriptions of separation from family and land, the freedom that emigration offers – and the enormous loss’ Jaki McCarrick, author of Belfast Girls

‘We can move consciously towards healing. And we can begin by talking. In Ordinary Time is that conviction in action... a must read’ Olivia Cole

‘The peace I discovered reading In Ordinary Time came from the reminder that the cycles we’re all in can be broken, and they can also be repaired’ Maeve Higgins, Irish Examiner

‘The fragments of her New York life seem carefree alongside the shocking events endured by her family in this beautifully crafted memoir which left me wanting more’ The Gloss Magazine

'Carmel's book is so intelligent, yet so accessible' Grace Bailey, host of San Clemente podcast

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Jo at Greenwich

““When anyone asks me about the Irish character, I say look at the trees. Maimed, stark and misshapen, but ferociously tenacious.” ― Edna O'Brien”

A powerful musing on memory and time and what it means to be an Irish person far from home. Mc Mahon tells her own personal history of her family and life in Ireland and of how hard it is to assimilate into life in... More

Hardback edition
4 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 16

“What a memoir this is”

Thanks to Duckworth books for sending an advance copy (along with a touching handmade St Brigid's cross enclosed). For such a short book, McMahon covers a lot of ground in terms of assessing Ireland's... More

Hardback edition
2 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 12

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