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A Room with a Darker View

Chronicles of My Mother and Schizophrenia

Claire Phillips


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A daughter breaks the family silence about her mother's schizophrenia, reframing hospitalizations, paranoia, illness, and caregiving through a feminist lens.

Claire Phillips' elegantly written and unflinching memoir about her mother, an Oxford-trained lawyer diagnosed in mid-life with paranoid schizophrenia, challenges current conceptions about mental illness, relapse and recovery, as well as difficulties caring for an aging parent with a chronic disease. Told in fragments, the work also becomes a startling reflection on the evolution of feminism as seen through mother-daughter relationships.

Only with her mother's final relapse at age 73 did the author begin to tell this story, first in Black Clock magazine, an essay for which she received a Pushcart nomination and notable mention in The Best American Essays 2015.

Doppelhouse Press, 9781733957908, 272pp.

Publication Date: August 18, 2020

About the Author

Claire Phillips is the author of the memoir A Room with a Darker View: Chronicles of My Mother and Schizophrenia (DoppelHouse) and the novella Black Market Babies (11th Hour Press). She is the recipient of the Academy of American Poets prize and a Pushcart Prize notable. Her writing has appeared in Black Clock magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Largehearted Boy, Joyland, Los Angeles Review of Books, Motherboard-Vice, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn, among other places. She teaches writing at CalArts, SCI-Arc, and U.C. Irvine, and is Director of the Los Angeles Writers Reading Series at Glendale College. She holds a M.A. in Creative Writing from New York University and a B.A. in English from San Francisco State University.