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About Margaret McMullan
Margaret's work has appeared in USA Today, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Boston Herald, Glamour, The Millions, Southern Accents, The Morning Consult, TriQuarterly, National Geographic for Kids, and The Sun among others.
A recipient of a 2010 NEA Fellowship in literature and a 2010 Fulbright to teach in Hungary, Margaret is the National Author Winner of the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award. Visit her website at: www.margaretmcmullan.com
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The moment she discovers the existence of Richard, a long-lost relative, at Israel’s Holocaust Museum, Margaret McMullan begins an unexpected journey of revelation and connectivity as she tirelessly researches the history of her ancestors, the Engel de Jánosis. Propelled by a Fulbright cultural exchange that sends her to teach at a Hungarian University, Margaret, her husband and teenage son all eagerly travel to Pécs, the land of her mother’s Jewish lineage. After reaching Pécs, a Hungarian town both small and primarily Christian, Margaret realizes right then and there how difficult her mission is going to be. Heart-wrenching, passionate and insightful, Where the Angels Lived by Margaret McMullan beautifully documents the relentless determination of a woman picking up the pieces of her family’s fragmented history throughout the Hungarian Holocaust.
“The destruction of the Jews in the country districts of Hungary was a simple business. The Germans made good use of their experience gained annihilating between three to four million Polish, German and Austrian Jews.”
In Where the Angels Lived, Margaret quickly discovers just how distinguished and influential her relatives appear to have been before the Holocaust. However, no one seems to recall the man whose name she saw that day in Israel: Richard Engel de Jánosi. With the help of students, strangers, and long-lost relatives, Margaret slowly pieces together bits of information about Richard’s past she never would have found without venturing to her family’s homeland.
While Margaret’s research starts to reap its own rewards, the road to discovery still comes at a price. Back in the United States, Margaret’s father is sick and her mother is looking frailer every time they Skype. Despite her parents’ deteriorating health, there is much more work to be done abroad.
“Remembering the dead, especially family members is important. I know this.”
As Margaret struggles to discover why Richard’s existence is wiped from Pécs history, her journey soon becomes her mother’s journey, a nation’s journey, and even perhaps, all of our journeys to reconnect with an inexplicable past.
“Sitting there in the pew carved of Moravian oak, I start to shake. I curse every last Hungarian who deported or murdered my family. See? Look at me. My mother got out and she had me and I had a son. You didn’t end us.”
Historical, authentic and family-oriented, Where the Angels Lived tells the tale of a somewhat parallel universe that exists even in the 21st century—dealings with Soviet-style bureaucracy; skepticism; anti-Semitism; and ironically the same sort of isolation and rejection Margaret’s Jewish Hungarian family experienced in 1944 before they were forced into concentration camps. Straddling memoir and reportage, past and present, this story reminds us all that we can escape a country, but we can never escape history.
Author, Margaret McMullen captures the hardship and hardscrabble feel of this post-Civil War time as well as the hopeful rebuilding of southern communities.
In My Mother's House is a beautiful, haunting, and elegantly crafted novel about a daughter's obsession to understand her mother's staunch commitment to silence about their family's experiences during World War II Vienna--and how they were able to escape.
Told in alternating voices (Elizabeth and her mother Jenny), the story is remarkable for its fullness and rich details: the pieces of family silver the grandmother mails to the family, piece by piece, over the years; Jenny's war-time memories of her uncle's viola d'amore lessons; the fragrant smell of the wood floors at the Hofzeile, the family's longstanding yellow home in Vienna.
As Elizabeth begins to fill the gaps of Jenny's troubled memory, she stumbles upon a family secret that ultimately reveals how it is that we inherit the things we do, from one generation to the next.
In My Mother's House is a poignant look at a family struggling to regain what took them generations to build and at what cost. It's an emotional, expertly told novel that proves that Margaret McMullan will soon join the ranks of writers such as Anita Shreve and Carol Shields.
It's 1962, a year after the death of Sam's father--he was a war hero--and Sam and her mother must move, along with their very liberal views, to Jackson, Mississippi, her father's conservative hometown. Needless to say, they don't quite fit in.
People like the McLemores fear that Sam, her mother, and her mother's artist friend, Perry, are in the South to "agitate" and to shake up the dividing lines between black and white and blur it all to grey. As racial injustices ensue--sit-ins and run-ins with secret white supremacists--Sam learns to focus with her camera lens to bring forth the social injustice out of the darkness and into the light.
This beautiful book of thirty-eight essays, illustrated by Mississippi's premier watercolorist Wyatt Waters, will ring true with treasured recollections of Christmases past. Remember the Christmas it snowed on the Mississippi Coast? Glen Allison recalls that miracle. Richard Ford and Waters tell exactly what they felt when they first laid eyes on a bicycle left under the tree by Santa Claus. These Mississippians celebrate Christmas pageants, the decorating, the family dinners--even as they recognize war and loss as part of our lives and sometimes part of our holidays. Christmas Memories from Mississippi looks at the holidays from the early 20th century through the present and offers the celebrations from various points of view, both religious and secular. This book makes an ideal memento of shared traditions and lovingly extends the spirit of the season across the state's diversity.
With contributions by:
Walter Biggins, Patti Carr Black, Lottie Brent Boggan, Donald H. Butts, Bob Carskadon, Rebecca Lauck Cleary, David Creel, Sylvia Nettles Dickson, Pat Flynn, Chris Gilmer, Peggy Gilmer-Piasecki, Carolyn Haines, Ann Tyrone Hebert, C. C. Henley, Alice Jackson, Donald M. Kartiganer, Janice Marie Kraft, Francis X. Kuhn, Bill Luckett, Johnnie Mae Maberry, Debbie Campbell Matthews, Charline R. McCord, Jo McDivitt, Cheri Thornton McHugh, Thomas McIntyre, Margaret McMullan, Willie Morris, Julia Reed, Ronnie Riggs, Sid Salter, David Sheffield, Mary Sue Slagle, Seetha Srinivasan, Brenda Trigg, Judy H. Tucker, Cynthia Walker, Lawrence "Larry" Wells, Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock, Malcolm White, Diane Williams, and Richard Wiman
A Year in Mississippi presents a collection of forty essays, ten per season, celebrating significant events and traditions throughout the state. Writers showcase the background, history, and emotions of these events and traditions with special meaning. Each event shines in the spotlight, observed not only to ascertain its impact, but also to discover why it succeeds, how it contributes to and shapes a unique culture, and how it functions to bind people together.
Well-known contributors and essays of special interest in the collection include Willie Morris's "The Glory of the Game," Julia Reed's "Green Day," Lawrence "Larry" Wells's "Always on My Mind--A Blues and Civil Rights Tour of the Mississippi Delta," Donald M. Kartiganer's "Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha 1974-2016," Margaret McMullan's "Christmas in the Pass," Sid Salter's "The Neshoba County Fair: Porches, Politicians, and Pie," Patti Carr Black's "Whiskey Christmases," Carolyn Haines's "Camp Meeting," David Sheffield's "The Blessing of the Fleet," and Seetha Srinivasan's "Diwali: Hindu Festival of Lights."
No, Cashay has never felt much like a treasure. “Your name doesn’t signify who you are,” Cashay tells her sister.
But that was before Sashay was killed. Before her mother started using again. Before her mentor, Allison, showed Cashay a bigger piece of the world, and encouraged her to finally, finally step into it.
A name may not signify who you are, but in this poignant coming of age story by acclaimed writer Margaret McMullan, readers will find that indeed, Cashay is an exception to her own rule.