Currently, small independent businesses which are integral to bringing communities and neighborhoods together are some of those being hit the hardest due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have the means, it is so important to support them right now so that they can stay afloat until we can safely begin having gatherings in special spaces like these once again.

Recently, I was delighted to see my memoir on display at Vroman's Bookstore on Colorado in Pasadena—a wonderful bookstore that has been around for over 126 years! Due to financial struggle, they recently have called for their Pasadena and greater Los Angeles neighbors to support them from now until the holiday season so that they can stay in business.

Like many others I urge friends, family, readers, to buy independent right now. That is where where students convene after school, where members of a community can get to know each other through readings or book clubs, where booksellers get to know your tastes, where you can get lost and find something unexpected—yet their livelihood is on the line right now. Big businesses will make it out more than fine, and while those online retailers may seem faster or easier, most local bookstores (and other businesses) have plenty of options that are just as safe and speedy. For example: online or over-the-phone orders for curbside pickup and socially distant in person shopping. A lot of bookstores like Vroman's sell lovely gifts and memberships as well, so another great way to help them is to do your holiday shopping there.

Here's the full list of ways to support Vroman's Bookstore taken from this page on their website:

In short, we’re asking our community to return to shopping at Vroman’s – whether online with delivery or curbside pick-up, or in-person safely in our stores:

  • * Shop online with curbside pickup or call us to place an order

  • * Return to shop in our stores with our new health and safety measures in place, understanding that capacity must  be limited to ensure social distancing (we experienced long lines this past weekend, with wait times in the 30/40 minute range. we apologize and appreciate everyone's patience as we maintain social distance guidelines to keep customers and staff safe)

  • * Shop in-store on weekday mornings, rather than busy weekends or afternoons, to avoid waiting in line for long periods

  • * Shop early before the December holiday crowds – the stores will be far less crowded in October and November

We also need your help to get the word out. Please reach out to your friends and contacts to share the following messages:

  • 1) Vroman’s needs your support to stay in business

  • 2) Please shop now for books, gifts, and gift cards with Vroman’s and encourage your friends and associates to do the same

  • 3) Download the shareables below and help spread the word! Use the hashtag #ShopVromans and post on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Don't forget to tag us! (Twitter: @vromans / Instagram: @vromansbookstore / Facebook: @vromansbookstore)

Other ways you can support Vroman's 

Updated: Sep 2

So excited to share that I have been selected to be a part of largehearted boy's Book Notes Series, where authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Listen to the the playlist I created for A Room with a Darker View: Chronicles of my Mother and Schizophreniawhich ranges from The Sugarhill Gang to Siouxie and the Banshees—right here and on largehearted boy's Spotify.

To see what I wrote about each of the songs in relation to the memoir, visit and read my feature on the site!

largehearted boy is a literature and music website that explores that spot in the venn diagram where the two arts overlap.

You can pre-order A Room with a Darker View: Chronicles of my Mother and Schizophrenia here at Skylight's website, and accompany us on the day of the book’s release: Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 6:30pm!

This event will take place live on Crowdcast, visit Skylight's event page at this link. Please RSVP to save your spot, receive email updates, and reminders leading up to the day of the event via Crowdcast so you don't miss anything.

 I’ll be joined by Emily Rapp Black, the author of Poster Child: A Memoir and The Still Point of the Turning World, a New York Times Bestseller, an Editor's Pick, and a finalist for the PEN Center Literary Award in Nonfiction. 

. . .

Told in fragments, flashbacks, and chronicling the most extreme but unfortunately common aspects of schizophrenia, this elegantly written memoir is a reflection on illness, shame, and the generation gaps that have defined mother-daughter relationships amid the evolution of feminism in the 20th century. Like Anne Boyer's lauded memoir, The UndyingA Room with a Darker View is not a linear tale of redemption or restitution. Rather, it challenges conceptions about mental illness, difficulties caring for an aging parent with a chronic disease, and how we frame contributions by outliers to society, while offering a scathing look at a broken medical system, the unwillingness of an elite educated family to reckon with its secrets, and finally, the universally-understood difficulty of caring for an aging parent with a chronic illness.

. . .

Praise for A Room with a Darker View: An engrossing story of identity formation, Phillips ultimately gives us not a confessional memoir but a parable of agency and resilience amid uncertain reality. As a speculative fiction writer whose work is rooted in an encyclopedic knowledge of science fiction, she crafts a tale of time travel, one where past-present-futures collapse into braided familial, personal, and social histories. Throughout the book Phillips illuminates the fierce reality of her mother’s delusions as well as the tools she gives her daughter to survive her. –Connie Samaras As heroic as it is original, Claire Phillips’ writing always finds the scary corners that would be secret to any other author, from which inevitably there comes into vision a revelatory perspective. Reading A Room with a Darker View, you won’t shake it from your mind; finishing it, you won’t shake it from your memory. – Steve Erickson, author of Zeroville and Shadowbahn Short, distilled chapters of quietly tantalizing prose grip us throughout the span of Claire Phillips’ fully realized and haunting story. –Bruce Bauman, author of And the Word Was and Broken Sleep


© Claire Phillips 2020 | Contact 

calarts mfa bfa professor sci arc architecture professor liberal arts bfa mfa author science fiction memoir

A Room with a Darker View Memoir skylight books Los Angeles