As Long as it Takes well and truly launched and events this March

February 26th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

The first launch event for Maria C McCarthy’s As Long as it Takes went ahead at the University of Kent, despite wind, rain and a sinkhole appearing on the M2. There is a great blog piece on the university’s creative writing blog, which describes the event as ‘more Tipperary tavern than literary salon’.  Here’s a quote from Sonia Overall’s blog:

Here were explorations of displacement, of the old country as home and England as a place to prosper. ‘Some people think Irish people aren’t very clever’, McCarthy’s narrator warned, ‘and you mustn’t give them any ammunition.’

‘A Tea Party’ told of a young girl’s confusion as she attempts to negotiate the adult world:

Maria McCarthy

Maria McCarthy

the roles of men and women, too many babies, Catholic rules and rituals. In this world, ‘God is in the priest’s thumb’ and marital communication stops as soon as ‘there are babies’. Family is subject to the forces of temptation, betrayal and disappointment: tough themes dexterously delivered through an observant child’s voice and strong lacing of wry humour. As the narrator enjoys a secret tea party with her father and the alluring Mrs Roberts, she notices silver balls on the fairy cakes, curling fingernails holding the plate and, leaning forward, ‘the line’ where her host’s ‘bosoms met’. After the adults return from their ‘talk about grown-up things’, the ‘too red’ mouth of the woman looms ‘like the felt pen’ stain her little brother ‘got on the living room carpet’, an indelible act.

You can read the full blog piece here. And buy a copy of As Long as it Takes here.

There is also an article in the Kent Messenger on how a trip Maria C McCarthy made to her father’s hometown in County Cork sparked some of the stories in the book. Read it here.

There are several more events to launch the book, and other Cultured Llama authors are also out and about with their poetry and stories this March and April. Bethany W Pope, Richard Thomas and Rose Cook all have events, which you can read more of on the Events page.

As Long as it Takes is reviewed on London Grip

February 7th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink


9780992648510-Perfect-MH cropped FRONT COVER

The first review of As Long as it Takes , Maria C McCarthy’s collection of stories about Irish women living in England, is published on London Grip. Fiona Sinclair writes:

The Catholic Church, it is shown, has a long reach […] This is best seen in the matter of sex where it seems original sin is laid firmly at the feet of women. Stories such as ‘More Katherine than Audrey’ reveal the tensions of the father- daughter relationship.  Fathers believe that girls go to England ‘for the boys’ not to better themselves by training as nurses.  And when girls become pregnant out of wedlock – as in the case of the tale ‘Biddy’ where the central character is raped by an employer – the sense of shame is overwhelming.  McCarthy has done her research well, for it is revealed that such girls were often hidden away for fear of bringing shame on their families: ‘’I’d heard about girls back home being sent away and never seen again if they got into trouble.’’

Fiona Sinclair ends her review:

Whilst this is a collection of short stories focusing particularly on the lives of Irish women, their struggles are in fact universal. This is a celebration of women with indomitable spirits who are devoted to their families and above all are survivors.

Read the full review on London Grip.

Buy As Long as it Takes  here.

Stories, poems, music, coffee and cakes – events to launch As Long as it Takes

February 3rd, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

There are several events to launch Maria C McCarthy’s new book, As Long as it Takes. The first is in Eliot SCR, University of Kent on 12 February 2014 at 6.00 pm. Please note that this is a change from the previously advertised venue  – on the same campus, but a different college.

There is an afternoon of stories, poetry and music at the pART project, Forum shopping centre, Sittingbourne on 1 March 2014 with guest poets and musicians (see below). Also a signing at Jittermugs coffee shop, Faversham on 17 March, where Maria will be reading stories from the book on request. Further ahead, Maria will be the guest of Save As Writers in Canterbury on 13 April 2014.

Details of these on the Events page.

pART poster small


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