Johnny Cash: American VI: Ain’t No Grave

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American VI: Ain’t No Grave
Johnny Cash (American Records, 2010)

As the world knows from the bio-pic Walk the Line (20th Century Fox), Johnny Cash was no one’s idea of a role model. He cheated on his first wife, raged at the people who loved him, and drove himself crazy with drugs and alcohol.


Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire

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Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire Directed by Lee Daniels (Lionsgate, 2009)

Black is beautiful. Black, obese, poor, functionally illiterate, abused, pregnant, despised, and drowning in an ocean of pain, 16-year-old Clarisse "Precious" Jones (played by Gabourey Sidibe) and the startling film director Lee Daniels and writer Geoffrey Fletcher have fashioned about her is a thing of beauty. She is disturbing, fascinating, and profoundly human, well worth a long, loving look from audiences more accustomed to saving their adoring glances for the likes of Julia Roberts.


Field of Compassion

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Field of Compassion By Judy Cannato (Sorin Books, 2010)

I'm no Albert Einstein. Science is just not my thing. Even Ira Flatow (of NPR's "Science Friday" fame) can't get me excited about sub-atomic particles, black holes, and astrophysics. But Judy Cannato can.


Allison Moorer: Crows

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Crows (Rykodisc, 2010)
Allison Moorer

Last night I warned a college writing class against assuming that the "speaker" of a poem was in fact the poet. But it's hard to ignore the life behind Allison Moorer's art. Moorer was 14 when she and her sister witnessed their father kill their mother and then himself.


The Young Victoria (Apparition, 2009)

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Stories about Queen Elizabeth I make extraordinary drama because her reign shattered the patriarchal myth that ruling a kingdom was a man's job.

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