In Ordinary Time | Hardback | By Carmel Mcmahon

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Code 9780715654477

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Product Information
  • In Ordinary Time: Fragments of a Family History
  • Pages: 256
  • Format: Hardback
  • Author: Carmel McMahon
  • Publisher: Duckworth
  • Publication date: 02 February 2023
  • Category: Memoirs, Ancestry, Religion
  • Size: 21.6 x 13.5 x 2.7cm
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In Ordinary Time: Fragments of a Family History by Carmel Mc Mahon


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 Irelands 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. 


'Stunning... Truth and honesty shine out of every line' MARY COSTELLO, author of Academy Street

'Beautiful, compelling, thought-provoking... An uncompromising reflection on what it means to be of Irish heritage today' TARA FLYNN

'Painfully familiar in its account of family loss and trauma in the urban working class... Sensitively written and quietly devastating, it’s the book I had been waiting for' NIAMH CAMPBELL, award-winning author of This Happy

About the Author

Carmel Mc Mahon grew up in County Meath, and lived in New York City 1993-2021, when she returned to renovate a house on Ireland's west coast. A graduate of CUNY, her writing has been published in the Irish Times, Humanities Review and Roanoke Review, and shortlisted for the Hennessy Literary Award.


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