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Angels Carry the Sun is Phoebe Wilcox’s debut novel. 

An excerpt from a second novel, "Flower Symbolism for Dummies" has been published in Wild Violet. 

Recent work may be found in Sixers Review, ILLUMEN, Wild River Review, A cappella Zoo, FOLLY, The Chaffey Review, ginosko, 
The Battered Suitcase, Frostwriting, 
Gloom Cupboard,
 and many others. 

Her stories have twice been nominated for the Pushcart prize. Her poetry chapbook, "Recidivist," was published in April, 2010 by Lilly Press.

She has worked as a chambermaid, bookbinder, security guard, and social worker.  She lives with her family in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Phoebe Wilcox's poetry chapbook "Recidivist" may be purchased from the Book Store page of this site.


Angels Carry the Sun  
by Phoebe Wilcox

Flora’s four-year obsession with Finn, her high school teacher, as revisited during the summer  before she leaves for college, is a spirited, steamy, quirky and tender coming-of-age story.

Phoebe Wilcox, in her astonishing first novel, writes in a  lyrical, sensual, gritty style --full of characters drawn so close to life, you’ll swear you know them, grew up with them, that they could be your own relatives.  

Be fore-warned however:  moving in with these folks is not a good idea--they may not pay their share of the rent.

--Judith A. Lawrence, Editor/Publisher
River PoetsJournal/
Lilly Press

  Angels Carry the Sun
(Excerpt) Chapter Seven 
Lemon-Scented Death


If you lived near the river in 1955, it took everything, Nora thought. Homes that were people's life's work surrendered to the flood, snagged on bridges, washed away. Lives were lost; bodies hastened to the sea. She imagined that the souls of the drowned had hovered briefly like dragonflies over roiling water before departing. Never again in her life would she underestimate the power of rain.

Thirteen years have passed since the flood, enough time to make it a novelty to the younger generation, a legend rather than a personal trauma. Crude dashes of paint mark the high-water levels at twenty feet up on the cliffs along River Road. Jagged faces of red shale line the west side of the road while the canal, towpath, and granite-gray river twist along on the east. There is a claustrophobic beauty about it: the narrow grassy strip of towpath between the two waterways where mules once hauled freight barges along the canal, and then the narrow road between the canal and the cliffs.  If either route became impassable, the towpath or the road, one would have to climb or swim to get beyond. 

Nora drove the ’55 Chevy—it was the same age as the flood now—with four-year-old Flora beside her, and Kewpie Doll, their German shepherd puppy, in the rusted out basin where the backseat had been. 

Well, tonight we'll have apples for dinner, Nora thought. On Meetinghouse Road, apple tree branches diced autumn light like bits of heaven and scattered it around their feet with the fruit. For an hour of the September day they parked at the side of the road picking their lunch and no one bothered them. No one drove by. There was only the quiet rustling of an animal in the vines above the ditch. Flora fell asleep on the way home, her stomach full of apples, no longer complaining that it hurt. Nora wondered what else to have for dinner. What can I make with flour and water? The kitchen cupboard at home reminded her of a skeleton. The bones of structure were there but the muscles had wasted away and the only organs left were an emaciated bag of flour and a container of salt. Flora liked the picture of the little girl on the salt container who walked under a yellow umbrella pouring salt out as she went. She'd tried it too, making little trails of salt all over the house until Nora stopped her. 

It was already getting cool at night. Their colonial-era house was stone and seemed to store two hundred years of winters in its plastered walls. Maybe Jack would come home from his love affair with the bottle and decide to pay the heating bill that she was already dreading, but maybe he wouldn't come back at all and then she'd have to figure out what to do. She didn't think the fireplace was safe to use because there was a thin crack in the chimney, shaped like a question mark.
A cappella Zoo Review of ANGELS CARRY THE SUN
A novel by Phoebe Wilcox. Lilly Press, 2010.

Phoebe Wilcox contributed her short story “The Big Bang” to Issue 3 of A cappella Zoo, and her novel Angels Carry the Sun reveals a similar innate sense of the rawness, the power, and the beauty of language. 

At age 18, Flora McDermott lives in a “snake pit” in rural Pennsylvania where she shares a bedroom with her trendy sister and her hippie mom. Flora delights in wreaking lustful havoc on Finn, her high school English teacher--what lover of poetry wouldn’t have a hard time resisting Flora’s “Freudian sex-dream” poems? It is Flora's mission to seduce Finn that propels the reader through this novel about family, memory, and growing up. Flora, self-proclaimed “punk,” is a refreshing female protagonist, and she shocks, challenges, and invites the reader throughout this “tale of love, lust, and lyricism.”

Although Wilcox’s novel is closer to realism than readers of A cappella Zoo might generally be attracted to, Wilcox’s lyrical wordplay will pull in any reader. It is the space the characters inhabit that creates the magic that readers of magical realism, slipstream, or experimental literature crave. In Angels Carry the Sun snowflakes appear as the lint falling slowly from a giant pocket, briar bushes and telephone lines are crocheted with snow, and our protagonist Flora’s mood changes with the rooms around her. Short and effective surrealistic similes create spaces of enchantment in the realistic landscape. Even punctuation comes to life in self-reflexive metaphors that make the final sentence of nearly every paragraph sing. Wilcox’s unique narrative voice is enough to forgive the occasional inconsistency in point of view, and her complex structure winds smoothly through this twist on the standard coming of age story. 

It’s hard to put this one down and hard to leave Flora behind once the book is through. Luckily, many of the scenes will stay with readers for days after. 

                  - Amanda DiSanto, assistant editor, A cappella Zoo


http://www.acappellazoo.com/angelscarrythesun-phoebewilcox


"Beautiful, poetic, tragic. Witness the miracle of words that is Phoebe Wilcox...then back away slowly." 

          --Matthew "Nobius" Evelsizer, Publisher, Calliope Nerve Media, author, One Nite Pig

“Words traverse the page like the magnificent Delaware that flows lucidly through her locale. What entices the reader is the strong characterization; you’re immediately hooked. Angels Carry the Sun is a genuine page-turner.”  

                                          --Richard Wink, Editor, Gloom Cupboard  

Angels Carry the Sun
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 "A More Significant Sun" included in “Recidivist” has been nominated for  the 2011 Rhysling Award.