Carmel Mc Mahon In Ordinary Time: Fragments of a Family History


Code 9780715654477
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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.

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

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

'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

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

'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 Gebler, author of Confessions of a Catastrophist

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


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