Phoenix (Silver Birch Press)
Join us for Philippa Mayall's reading of her praised debut Phoenix, which John Rechy has called, “memorable…beautifully and even lyrically written.”
Set in Manchester, Los Angeles, and the center of the narrator’s mind, Phoenixis a compelling memoir that takes the reader through an odyssey of escape. The writing is as raw as the emotions of the narrator named Flip, and the story as gritty as the northern UK city where she was raised.
The book begins with a tragic night when a house fire destroys her life as she knows it. Flip flees the scene, devoured by guilt and drowning in self-loathing. She leaps into a synthetic existence of mind-altering drugs and alcohol, but before long her pain starts to bleed into her psyche once again. Her desperate urge to escape takes her six thousand miles from home to L.A. Flip is distraught to discover her feelings came with her, and she soothes them with even more potent drugs offered to her by a new friend. This becomes the axis of self-destruction and self-discovery. She ends up homeless, living in a car with two other people and two cats, and a new flame is ignited within her. After a violent confrontation with her friends, Flip is forced to enter a drug rehab so she isn't sleeping on the streets.
This is the beginning of her real and most courageous escape.
Philippa Mayall was born into her own gritty northern drama in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 1973. Her penchant for writing was discovered by her mother at an early age. She kept switching the lights on to write down nuggets of sentences and phrases she thought of in the night and didn’t want to forget. This made her very unpopular with her brother who shared the room (they remain good friends today). She moved to Los Angeles in 2000 and her time in America is enormously influential on her writing, as are her roots in Manchester. After realizing her real dream of wanting to write about her experiences, she moved back to England, where she studied for a Masters in Creative Writing at Kingston University. Phoenix is her first book. In the future, she hopes to write more. Philippa currently lives in Los Angeles.