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In Ordinary Time by Carmel Mc Mahon: A provocative yet dazzling map of grief, trauma and love

Describing Carmel Mc Mahon’s debut non-fiction collection as memoir feels too confining a term. In Ordinary Time: Fragments of a Family History is a layered and beguiling collection of essays that interrogates and challenges the very idea of what exactly goes into making a life. Over four parts — each named for a season in the Celtic year, Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lughnasadh and Samhain — Mc Mahon lifts up the events and facts of her personal history and finds them tethered, irrevocably, to the past both recent and ancient.

reviously shortlisted for the Hennessy Literary Award and published in The Irish Times and Roanoke Review, Mc Mahon returned to Ireland to live on the west coast after more than two decades in New York.

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