Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged American

First Person Plural

Imagine having three different names and three different birth dates. Deann Borshay Liem asks the viewers of her documentary film First Person Plural to do just that as she tells the story of her adoption in 1966 from Korea by American parents living in California. The film traces her childhood in America and desperate drive to assimilate perfectly into American culture, which—to all who looked at her—would say she accomplished quite successfully.

The Panicking

The Los Angeles-based hard rock band Million Dollar Mouth channel groups including The Clash, Alice in Chains, and Radiohead (vocalist Mike Biscotti even sounds a bit like Thom Yorke), while giving a nod to less obvious influences such as Lenny Kravitz, Dire Straits, and The Cars. Heavy, grungy guitar and bass anchor most tracks, with keyboards and drum adding texture; the sound varies from distorted and harsh on “1-4-3” to echoing and expansive, as on “Space Out.” Biscotti often chant-sings the lyrics, but occasionally, as on “Second Skin,” his voice veers into a beautiful falsetto.


Elizabeth Cook blends tenacity with tradition for Welder, embracing traditional backwoods country twang, some bluegrass, and a touch of rockabilly while adding her own progressive spin and pop edginess. The daughter of country musicians and welders, for whom the album was named, Cook effectively utilizes these aforementioned influences to raise her fist to integral feminist themes like independence, sexual expression and assertion.

The Prospect of Magic

The Prospect of Magic, a collection of ten stories, sets up a wonderful world where the real and magical live side by side. It’s enchanting. Some of the stories are hopeful, some are tragic, and some are sad, just like real life. All of them feature flights of fancy, just like the best magic trick. The story centers around Fluker, Louisiana, where the World Famous Ploofop Travelling Circus decides to stay after its owner, Abidail Ploofop, dies.

A Tortilla Is Like Life: Food and Culture in the San Luis Valley of Colorado

From the time Laura Esquivel’s well known novel Like Water for Chocolate was made into a film, food and meals have been presented as a means of communication that extends beyond the dinner table.

Western Theater

Mighty Tiger are the sort of band to open for Animal Collective or Grizzly Bear on tour—and not just because of their similar four-legged names. It’s easy to compare bands in folksy sub-genres, but the truth is, Mighty Tiger are a solid pop-driven fit among more established bands of similar persuasion. On Western Theater, Mighty Tiger do what other comparable bands do not.

The Widow of the South

Though it’s based in reality, Robert Hicks’ work of historical fiction The Widow of the South is an incredibly long, often meandering novel that failed to rouse me in any real way. And that’s something I’m truly sorry to report. A few years ago, I became interested in all things Southern.

Not That Kind of Girl

Carlene Bauer was a seven-year-old child when her mother became a born-again Christian, catapulting the family into a regimen that put avoiding devilish distraction front and center.

American Romances: Essays

In this bountiful blend of writing, Rebecca Brown discusses the interpretation of words in the past and present. She mixes classic pieces of writing with contemporary history and combines her own coming-of-age anecdotes with other writings. Her commentary is sometimes shocking, sometimes eloquent, and overall, leaves you to wonder what she is thinking. Why does she choose to develop these essays this way?

The Women's Room

Marilyn French’s The Women's Room, first published in 1977 and republished this year (a re-release ironically in the works before French’s death last May), has been touted as one of the most influential novels of the second wave of feminism. The book reads like a combination of a personal journal and a traditional novel.

American Women Leaders: 1,560 Current Biographies

American Women Leaders is an ultimate resource of all things women. If you consider yourself a feminist or are interested in women’s empowerment, this is a great coffee table book to own. American Women Leaders features biographies of over 1,500 women who are positively impacting others.

Breaking Poems

In her third book of poetry, award-winning Palestinian American poet Suheir Hammad explores the resilience of women’s bodies across borders in a fluid set of poems entitled Breaking Poems. Hammad embraces life at the border, refusing to translate her identity to fit a bounded-identity construct of what it means to be Palestinian or American. She uses a diasporic language, blending anglicized Palestinian Arabic with English.

Letter from a Feminist After Attending the Inauguration

Dear Feminist Review readers, Having received the opportunity to attend the Inauguration of the first African American President, I did experience some nervousness. My companions in the motorcoach were virtual strangers to me. Except for the staff, most of the travelers were college students. Some had families; they had seen their own sons and daughters off to higher education and had finally chosen to pursue it themselves. Others were barely eighteen. The anticipation was palpable among us all regardless of our political affiliation.