At Five in the Afternoon is a memoir about experiencing cancer. It is a literary work, illustrating all aspects of the cancer theme – traumatic assault, mortality, endurance and redemption – through the lives of the personalities, and in particular the women, who grace its pages.
The author draws on his unique background in psychoanalysis, in the art of constructing television programmes, and on his broadcasting experience as newscaster where the human voice is privileged, to write about the importance of saying, about putting the world of the imagination into words.
The book is courageously truthful, and speaks of the masculine quest for the father, the necessity of freedom, of what it means to be a real man, the value and strength of women, and of how to cope with adversity, topics which are narrated against the background of a changing Ireland.
“At Five in the Afternoon is] a beautiful, layered work about the importance of saying, about putting the world of the imagination into words that are true. The welcome home in [Michael’s] book is for all whose lives have been touched by the many forms of cancer. It is a true house of the gathering, where the strands and themes of his narrative congregate to offer hope and a way forward out of the darkness that surrounds.”
Mary Robinson first woman President of Ireland and former United Nations High commissioner for Human Rights, currently President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative