Mackenzie Phillips details drug use and incest in new memoir |

Books | Shelf Life

Mackenzie Phillips details drug use and incest in new memoir


High-on-Arrival_lHigh on Arrival, a memoir from actress Mackenzie Phillips, hits stores today, the same day that Phillips will make the requisite trip to Oprah’s couch to bare all. Oprah’s website has been touting the interview all week: “Mackenzie Phillips speaks out on the heroin and cocaine bust, Mick Jagger and the explosive family secret she says she’s kept for 31 years.”

And just what is that secret? Phillips is best known as a TV star (One Day at a Time) and as the daughter of John Phillips (founding member of the Mamas & the Papas). But she is also an addict, and hers is a book not about celebrity life, but about the frantic, unremitting scramble to get high. She did her best to obliterate a miserable childhood by shooting, snorting, and swallowing every drug possible. She says she was raped at 14 by a stranger and at 19 by her own father, then continued a pattern of using and detoxing until an August 2008 drug arrest at LAX forced her, she says, to embrace sobriety once and for all. Though Phillips’ incest revelations will make the headlines, the rest of the book – a raw glimpse into the mind of a junkie – is equally dispiriting. “It was, as I’ve said, a hard decision to reveal the sordid side of my relationship with my father,” she writes in the book’s afterword. “But these are complex, painful, heart-wrenching truths that infiltrate lives, many lives, not just mine. I can’t be the only one. And I needed to tell that part of the story because I wanted to earn the right to talk about forgiveness.”

What do you think? Is this a book you’ll read?

For more on Mackenzie Phillips: Clark Collis’ article in The Music Mix

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