Born and bred in the city of steel: Sheffield.
Spent - or misspent, whichever your viewpoint - the majority of his 'young' years on the Northern Soul circuit. It's around this time and place that his novel is set - 'Wood, Talc and Mr. J: We never had it so good...'
His academic education came much later, from scratch, in a sense.
In time, he fell in love with the idea of languages, French in particular, and went on to get a BA Hons in French Language and Literature with subsidiary Spanish, at The University of Sheffield. He was a 'mature student', though maybe not as mature as he would like to think, looking back...
After which, he moved down south - mid 90s - and eventually further still to the South of France for a few years, where he taught English. He then moved up to northern France to do much the same thing.
But it was here where he also began to write, or experiment with writing.
He came back to England in the mid-00s and lived in North London for five years, teaching and writing again.
And for the last so many years, he's lived in Norwich, where he's completed a Masters in Literary Translation, at the UEA - he likes to believe he's most definitely mature now!
He's now working his way toward making a living by writing, with a little translation on the side...
He tends to be picky about books, and take his time reading them; he expects each word to count; something he can go back to, read again - and again. Things witty, satirical, poetic... Moving. Favourite writers of late? Maybe Markas Zusak. Anna Funder, her 'All That I Am'. Actually, he's only just discovered Kurt Vonnegut, and read 'The Slaughterhouse Five'. All that being said, he is a bit of a Conan-Doyle fanatic...
Soulful writers, and their soulful things. And maybe he tries to emulate them.
Same goes for his taste in films, music... and people.
Where to find Chris Rose online
The Rowlings Years...
by Chris Rose
The Rowlings Years?
There'll be love and happiness, hate and sadness; jealousy, anger; sexual thrills and excitement; there’ll be gain, there’ll be loss, and on, and on…
Themes eternal, in other words. Life.
And if you love a bit of comedy in with your tragedy, books that make you think and laugh at the same time – and very British! – then these are books for you. Sorry, though, no vampires, nothing paranormal, vulgar or too tweety, happy-every-after tweety…
Wood, Talc And Mr. J: We Never Had It So Good... (The Rowlings Years, Book 1)
by Chris Rose
1978. The North. Phillip sees life in a simplistic if passionate way.
When not doing his ‘thing’ in Wigan’s Casino Club – voted The World's Greatest Disco by Billboard Magazine – he longs for the weekend, or a greater, permanent escape from the daily grind of factory life in an industrial town.
Dancehall adventures via train-rides to Heaven, set against the birth of Scargill-Thatcher feuding...
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Smashwords book reviews by Chris Rose
A Shadow in Yucatan
on Nov. 26, 2014
One of the extended luxuries of reading a book - particularly a good one, but then, at my age, I (we) should know when to abandon the not-so-good - is writing a review: another blank page to dash with blush and beam; pastels afforded by the author - go on, s/he enthuses, five stars in all the colours of the rainbow...
And then along comes Philippa Rees, with A Shadow in Yutacán, and I feel very much like the amateur - where to begin? Where then when begun? Philippa Rees' A Shadow in Yutacán is the kind of book that... well, I've noted Dylan Thomas in passing but he was never this good - reviewer scuffs the clichés infesting the corners of his mind.
I am honestly at a loss. This - pardon me and every reviewer for saying so - is an absolute work of art. And heart. For, make no mistake, Philippa's heart is at the very core of this work - a work that would be a rank fail if not. We might then forget genre - how `winkingly' witty dear Bob Book-Jacket should inform us our "distilled novel fits no category... is not poetry..."
Poetry, then, is in the ear of the beholder? And persuasive, indeed, it is. I'm reminded of Arthur Quiller Couch:
"Literature is not an abstract Science, to which exact definitions can be applied. It is an Art rather, the success of which depends on personal persuasiveness, on the author's skill to give as on ours to receive."
Stephanie, the book's MC, who wakes "to a smouldering afternoon pregnant with thunder", via pregnancy both of the belly and naivety, comes full circle - and in fact recalls a literary character of my own creation; if only she could put brakes on the rumbling rails of life!
But, for me, the `book' transcends 1960s dreams damned to the frailties of reality; this is Blake's Innocence and Experience second-done. And this, to repeat the idea of being lost for words, as well as to offer the most audacious of paradoxes, is a flight in animation, where the beauty of Philippa's poetry becomes mute to the magical carpet-ride of Stephanie's sensitivities... Come on, then, dear animators, this is the one you've been waiting for! Remember what was done with Raymond Briggs' Snowman?
"If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all," scoffs an Irish wit from spirit. What would he have made of this, though, eh? I do but wonder.
If I were limited to one question only, then it would surely be: `Philippa, how long did it take you to write A Shadow in Yutacán?' And yet I'd refrain, for fear of either answer.
`Not too long,' she smiles, `it is of my natural pen.'
Then I'll place down my own forevermore. Consolation being I'll order more - books! - I suppose.
`Actually, it was a real slog. A good two years.'
Mmm. Oh, why, by GOD, as I write, has it not yet been bestowed with the honour it deserves?
I will read A Shadow in Yutacán again. And again. And each time will be like the first.
This is a masterpiece.