Archives for posts with tag: John Rechy


“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 and THE MIRACULOUS DAY OF AMALIA GOMEZ

PHOENIX, a memoir by Philippa Mayall, is available at


We feel honored that John Rechy, author of The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez, has linked to our recent post about his novel on his official website. Thank you!

The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez is one of our very favorite novels. Find it at


“When Amalia Gomez woke up, a half hour later than on other Saturdays because last night she had had three beers instead of her usual weekend two, she looked out, startled by God knows what, past the screenless iron-barred window of her stucco bungalow unit in one of the many decaying neighborhoods that sprout off the shabbiest part of Hollywood Boulevard, and she saw a large silver cross in the otherwise clear sky.” Opening line to The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez by JOHN RECHY

Note: What a great opening line! It’s all there — who, what, when, where. Read the novel to find out more of the what and the why. I’ve read this beautiful novel twice and will probably read it again. The prose is amazing, the story engrossing, the main character compelling. It’s magic realism set in Hollywood, circa 1990. Highly recommended.

Blurb from book jacket: Known for his exploration of worlds seldom seen by others, best-selling author John Rechy brings us intimately into the life of a Chicano family in Los Angeles today, and without glancing away from the harshness of their lives, tells their story with humor and poignancy. Blending tough realism with religious and cultural fables, Rechy celebrates the enduring human spirit in what may be his best novel.