Brad Phillips' collection of short stories adeptly walks a very thin line between taboo and propriety, with rigorous self-awareness and generosity. By confusing ideas around fiction and autobiography, Phillips writes with painful sincerity about shame, addiction, trauma, and the more troubling outreaches of sexual desire, with wit that is at odds with the subject matter.
"Essays and Fictions navigates the never-ending work of undoing oneself, whether that be through drugs, sex, art making, or finding a connection with someone worth living for. Amidst the ugliness of the human condition, this book’s beauty sneaks up on you." - Chelsea Hodson ~Chelsea Hodson
"One sign of encountering a great writer for me is envy. I'm envious of the way Brad Phillips writes. I'm envious of his honesty as a writer. I'm envious of his bone-dry turns of phrase and his sarcastic observations. I'm envious of the slack alacrity with which he attacks such morbid subjects as suicide, addiction, pain, and death. I'm envious of the utter fearlessness he displays. Writing is dead, but Mr. Phillips, decidedly, isn’t.” –Bruce LaBruce ~Bruce LaBruce
"Brad Phillips says, at the beginning of this incredible book, that honesty eludes him. Obviously, that’s a lie. When you read Brad Phillips, you understand why nice women write love letters to men on death row." –Sarah Nicole Prickett ~Sarah Nicole Prickett
"Last week, Giancarlo Di Trapano turned me on to Suicidal Realism, a short memoir by the Canadian painter Brad Phillips. It’s not exactly an edifying book. Phillips’s main themes are drugs and sex, in that order: “People who like to get fucked up with other people are not people I like to get fucked up with.” But Phillips has a watchful intelligence and self-knowledge, and an impatient sincerity, that sneak up on you (or at least, snuck up on me). He doesn’t ask to be liked, even by his groupies, but he does want to communicate: “I’m not interested in the ones who are drawn to the creator of the work, I’m interested in the ones who are drawn to the content.” —Lorin Stein
"Searingly honest, brilliant and disturbing . Brad Phillips peels back the skin and bone and stares right into the human soul." - Anthony Bourdain