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Phoenix: A Memoir [Kindle Edition]

Philippa Mayall
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $7.99
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Book Description

"This powerful memoir immediately establishes itself as the work of a highly talented young writer. In a voice that is strong, unsparing, never judgmental, Mayall traces her years-long journey as a young woman to find escape out of the entrapping mean streets of Los Angeles, a separated world invisible to all but its denizens. She does this with unflinching honesty and authenticity. She knows what it's like to wake up into the harsh sunlight in a Venice Beach parking lot, cramped in an old car with other outcasts. She conveys the urgency for chemical surcease that leads her into dangerous streets, dark alleys; surcease no matter if bought by a sordid paid encounter. A punishing dawn at times finds her still searching for that illusive escape.

Through all this, Mayall is able to find poignancy and humor. She finds it in the drug recovery meetings she haunts in search of vagrant camaraderie. She finds it—and introduces the reader to a cast of memorable fellow exiles—in a rigidly ruled rehabilitation institution.

This is a memorable book--beautifully and even lyrically written. At times it is melancholy, at times hopeful, at times shocking, but it is always moving. At times it is even exuberant with the sense of a life lived determined to survive." JOHN RECHY, author of CITY OF NIGHT

Set in Manchester, UK, Los Angeles, and the center of the narrator’s mind, PHOENIX is 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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 476 KB
  • Print Length: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Silver Birch Press (June 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #913,984 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks. August 12, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thank you for sharing your story. The insight to addiction is very interesting to me. I kept looking at what percentage of the book I had left and was sad when I saw I was at 95% tonight. However, I'm excited to know you continue to write and will definitely read more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I could taste it! August 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Evocative and rich, this is a memoir that dances between time, the senses and the heart. I have never read a description of physical and soul craving as vivid as she has written. It felt so dangerous!

The only disappointment was the abrupt ending. I wanted more. I hope the sequel will appear soon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars New Star Rising September 9, 2013
By WrtnWrd
Format:Kindle Edition
You might think you've read every possible iteration of the addiction novel - and have been burnt out on the genre from the fictional re-contextualization of lives as they are lived - but you've never encountered anything like the bleakly harrowing and downright hysterical (as in obsessive and also overwhelmingly funny) world of Philippa Mayall's Phoenix: A Memoir. Most writers would have to embellish their banal day-to-day, but not Mayall. She plunges us into a Los Angeles teaming not with the beautiful people and the wannabes, but it's seamier underbelly, as she races to outrun a tragic past that, quite frankly, keeps up with her neck-and-neck. Yet there's not a whiff of pity in her memoir; whatever sentiment it comes by is hard-earned and due her. And she transforms her singular experiences into a breathless, universal story that touches us all where we're most vulnerable: our quest for family, and our daily struggle to be understood.
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