Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged death

So Much Wasted: Hunger, Performance, and the Morbidity of Resistance

Traversing critical theory, body studies, psychoanalysis, philosophy, political theory, cultural studies, and performance studies, Patrick Anderson’s So Much Wasted captures the “politics of morbidity” embedded in the act of self-starvation.

The Last Days of Emma Blank

Emma Blank believes death is eminent. Surrounded by a sulky if compliant staff in her large home near the Dutch dunes, she shouts absurd orders in between bemoaning her fate. “Don’t worry,” she assures her impatient employees. “Before winter, I’ll be dead.” Emma’s character is frustratingly distempered. Seemingly with no idea what is good for her, she demands an eel for breakfast, then violently vomits while her staff stands around shaking their heads with annoyance. It’s clear no one in the house has any sympathy for her condition, whatever mysterious ailment it may be.

Beyond Living

As the title of this album suggests, Beyond Living is a collection of folk songs about death, many of them written by musicians who have passed.


Director Jennifer Steinman’s debut, Motherland, is a poignant documentary about six American women who have lost their children (and a brother) and find themselves together on a quest of healing.

Fatherless Daughters: Turning the Pain of Loss into the Power of Forgiveness

I recently saw an Oprah show on hoarding. At a certain point during the program, the two women featured on the show said they could trace this psychological condition back to losing their father. Both women were married when they lost their fathers (one is now divorced and the other is separated from her husband) and both have children.

Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally

Thirty-seven days after being diagnosed with cancer, author Patti Digh’s stepfather died. It is this moment that inspired the book Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally.

My Life in a Nutshell (10/10/2009)

Obie award winner Hanne Tierney’s latest work, My Life in a Nutshell, doesn’t shy away from big themes. Death, friendship, jealousy, love, lust, mourning, and carrying on in the face of life’s abundant whammies make appearances in this innovative, clever, and totally absorbing forty-five-minute puppet show for adults.

Invisible Sisters

The loss of a loved one can wreak havoc on the closest of families. There doesn’t seem to be a formula that can predict which families will survive a tragedy and which families will break apart as a result.

Let Me Down Easy (4/28/2009)

If you're squeamish, like I am, on the topics of death, dying, and illness, you shouldn't let that stop you from experiencing Anna Deavere Smith's Let Me Down Easy. However, you might not want to see it during a global health scare.

Tazewell’s Favorite Eccentric #4

This zine, published in April of 2006, is tiny but powerfully personal. It has 30 pages, and, at only 5½ by 4¼ inches, it’s small enough to fit in a pocket for on-the-go reading. On the very first page, zinester Sarah Arr! writes, “this issue is a lot more personal than things I’ve previously written,” and adds that she will not give copies to co-workers and casual friends.

Captain of the Sleepers

Captain of the Sleepers is a tropical story of secrets and conflicts: familial, sexual, social, political, all intricately tangled up together in the Caribbean islands. It proceeds along parallel timelines, unfolding in the present day and in the 1940s and '50s, switching narrators at times, evoking disturbing events in which North American expatriates, tourists and Marines play key roles.

You Live for the Fight When That’s All That You’ve Got #1

This zine is the latest from the woman who brought the world five issues of A Renegade’s Handbook to Love & Sabotage. After her dad’s unexpected death in 2002, she took a break from producing zines because “the words just didn’t come out in a way that felt right” to her. With You Live for the Fight…, she is “trying to let the words come out in a way that feels right to them.” I’m really excited by the way the words came out.

When I Met the Wolf Girls

The title of this children’s book caught my eye since my family supports Wolf Park, a local wolf education and research facility located in Battle Ground, Indiana. This delicate story of family and friendship, set in picture-book format, recants the ordeal of two feral sisters discovered in Midnapore, India in the 1920s.

The Higher Power of Lucky

Censorship advocates have a lot to dislike in Susan Patron’s Newbery Medal children’s book The Higher Power of Lucky. Aside from the “scrotum” controversy (the word appears on the first page and prompted a flurry of “how dare she put this is a children’s book!”), there are Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, a mother in jail for dealing marijuana, a delinquent father and surplus U.S.

Mind Beyond Death

"Hey, I'd like to read a book about death!" Perhaps this is not what comes to mind as you browse the "New Books" section at Borders, but if you are interested in Tibetan Buddhism and ideas about the cycle of life and death, I may have a book for you. Somewhere between a conversation and a textbook, Mind Beyond Death, is an expansion upon a series of lectures given by author Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche in 2003 at the Treasury of Knowledge Retreat.

Anna’s Summer

Anna’s Summer, is a lovely and introspective film about life, death, remembrance and discovery. Anna, played evocatively by Angela Molina, is reminded of the loss of her loved ones and their qualities that made them not only lovable, but vulnerable and fallible. She has grace, countenance and an expressive nature reminiscent of Penelope Cruz in recent Pedro Almodóvar films. Her visage proves absolutely perfect for a role centering so much around reflection and the memories of her past.

Doris #23

In the latest issue of her acclaimed zine, Cindy Crabb delivers more of the insightful, self-revelatory, meandering prose her readers have come to love. The issue opens with a beautifully-written meditation on love’s many forms. Other topics recounted include her canoeing trip with Julian, but touches upon dreams about her dead mother, the white co-opting of Native American experience, a friend’s disclosure of childhood sexual abuse, and her struggles with feelings of worthlessness.


What does it mean to have a dead mother come back to life and nurture her daughters and granddaughter again? Well that is in the meaning of the film’s title, Volver, which means to recapture again, in this case, the love that went missing years before.