Mike Phillips (writer)
Phillips was born in Georgetown, a port city in the equatorial colony British Guiana. The family migrated to Islington in 1956 when he was about 14. He was educated at the University of London (English), the University of Essex (Politics), and received a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Goldsmiths College, London.
Phillips worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcaster between 1972 and 1983, then became a lecturer in media studies at the University of Westminster. In 1992 he became a full-time writer. He has said, "One of the experiences that made me a writer was the realisation that I was written out of a small piece of literary history in the film Prick Up Your Ears, the biography of controversial playwright Joe Orton, author of Entertaining Mr Sloane. Orton and his friend Kenneth Halliwell were frequent visitors to Essex Road Library where I worked as a library assistant. I regularly spoke to them and didn't know that they were defacing the books, an act that eventually put them in jail. When the scene was depicted on film I felt I should have been included, and realised that you can't rely on others to write your story, sometimes you have to do it yourself."
Phillips is best known for his crime fiction, including four novels featuring black journalist Sam Dean: Blood Rights (1989; serialised on BBC TV starring Brian Bovell), The Late Candidate (1990), Point of Darkness (1994), An Image to Die For (1995). He is also the author of London Crossings: A Biography of Black Britain (2001), a series of interlinked autobiographical essays and stories. With his brother, the political journalist Trevor Phillips, he wrote Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain (1998) to accompany a BBC television series.
Awards and honours
- 1990 - Silver Dagger award by the Crime Writers' Association for The Late Candidate
- 1996 - Arts Foundation Award for Thriller Writing
- 2007 - OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in the New Year's Honours List
- Smell of the Coast and Other Stories (1987). London: Akira Press.
- Boys 'n' the Hood (1991). London: Pan.
- The Dancing Face (1997). London and New York: HarperCollins.
- A Shadow of Myself (2000). New York: HarperCollins.
- Kind of Union (2005). London: Continuum.
Sam Dean series
- Blood Rights (1989). London: Michael Joseph; New York: St. Martin's Press. (Adapted for BBC TV in 1989; starring Brian Bovell)
- The Late Candidate (1990). London: Michael Joseph; New York: St. Martin's Press.
- Point of Darkness: A Sam Dean Mystery (1994). London: Michael Joseph, 1994; New York: St. Martin's Press.
- An Image to Die For (1997). New York, St. Martin's Press.
- Community Work and Racism (1982). London: Routledge.
- Notting Hill in the Sixties (1991); text, with photography by Charlie Phillips. London: Lawrence & Wishart.
- Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain (with Trevor Phillips). London: HarperCollins, 1998. ISBN 0-00-255909-9.
- London Crossings: A Biography of Black Britain. London: Continuum, 2001.
- "Phillips, Mike, 1941–". Library of Congress Authorities (lccn.loc.gov). Retrieved 10 May 2015. LC cites the British Library (BL) and its own Cataloging in Publication (CIP) data, both 2001.
- "Distinguished friends: Dr Mike Phillips OBE FRSL FRSA", Migration Museum Project.
- Kevin Duffy, "An Interview with award-winning author, Mike Phillips", Birmingham City Council.
- Bruce King, Mike Phillips Biography.
- Stephen Barfield, "Before London Called: Review of Mike Phillips, London Crossings: a Biography of Black Britain", Literary London: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Representation of London, Vol. 3, No. 1 (March 2005). Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- Mike Phillips at British Council: Literature.
- Mike Phillips profile, The Guardian.
- Tate Research. Accessed 29 February 2012.
- "MBE for 80-year-old shoe shiner", BBC News, 30 December 2006.
- Mike Phillips at British Council: Literature
- "About Dr Mike Phillips", Online gallery - Black Europeans, British Library
- Book details at twbooks
- Onyekachi Wambu, "Black British Literature since Windrush", BBC History, 3 March 2011
- "Interview with Mike Phillips by Romanian writer George Arion", November 2010, Profusion Publishers
- Mike Phillips at Library of Congress Authorities, with 8 catalogue records