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Liberal Studies Alumna Sells Her Book to U.K.-based Duckworth Books

Carmel McMahon (Photo courtesy of McMahon)

Graduate Center alumna Carmel McMahon (M.A. ’20, Liberal Studies) will soon have her debut book, In Ordinary Time, published by Duckworth, an imprint of the U.K.-based Duckworth Books Group.

In Ordinary Time is a hybrid work of essays, poems, and photographs drawing on McMahon’s family story and those of Irish women in the Celtic, early Christian, and modern eras to explore themes of trauma, time, memory, and how people construct and record history. It is particularly interested in the many ways church and state have weighed on female bodies and minds.

McMahon grew up in County Meath, Ireland, before emigrating in 1993, at age 20, to New York City, where she currently resides. She will return to live in the west of Ireland in late 2021. Her writing has been published in journals including Humanities Review and Roanoke Review, and been shortlisted for the Hennessy Literary Award.

Rowan Cope, the publisher at Duckworth who acquired the book, said in an announcement, “Carmel McMahon’s brilliant In Ordinary Time takes a broad view, reaching back into Irish history to tell a personal yet universally engaging story about family, class, trauma, colonialism, grief, addiction, time, and reconciliation. It is one of the most thought-provoking and absorbing works of creative non-fiction I have read all year, and recalled to me books such as Notes to Self, Motherwell and A Ghost in the Throat, though Carmel’s gift is all her own.”

Publication is planned for February 2023.

Submitted on: OCT 18, 2021

Category: Alumni News | Liberal Studies