Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged personal stories

These Here Are Crazy Times 2

Every so often, I’ll be on the phone with my ninety-one-year-old grandma and she’ll reveal a tidbit I’ve never heard before. The most recent revelation—admittedly several years ago now—was about her only serious boyfriend before meeting my grandpa. He hadn’t been interested in religion, and my gram just couldn’t envision a future with such a man, much as she loved him.

Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment

In the original 1997 edition of Living Downstream, Sandra Steingraber was the first to compare data on toxic releases with data from U.S. cancer registries. In the last ten years since this edition was published, there has been rapid growth in the understanding of environmental links to human cancer and new published findings that corroborate the evidence Steingraber compiled in 1997. With a Ph.D.

I Just Lately Started Buying Wings: Missives From The Other Side of Silence

I Just Lately Started Buying Wings is a collection of memories and letters, speaking out from places of silence. Throughout the text, Kim Dana Kupperman conveys an enduring need to bring chosen tragedies to light and does so vigorously.

Brainscan #24 and #25

Putting one’s life on display is, in essence, quite a courageous act. Yet in this time of reality television, it is becoming more of a norm, infused with a sense of banality. Thank goodness for zines, where our need to know intimate details of strangers’ lives is a collaboration of intelligence between people who actually think about stuff, write with a purpose, and use their experiences to connect, grow, and reach out to their community. Brainscan is an extremely personal zine.

Taking Women in New Directions: Stories from the Second Wave of the Women's Movement

Paula Kassell's Taking Women in New Directions is not what it sounds like. Rather than being stories about the women's movement in the '70s and '80s, it is primarily a collection of articles that Kassell wrote for the feminist newspaper, New Directions for Women (which she also co-founded and ran out of her own home for seven years).

Was That Supposed To Be Funny?

One can never truly pinpoint what feminism looks like. Sometimes it’s the faces of celebrities, proudly claiming the F-word; sometimes it’s a swarm of protesters gathering on the National Mall. And sometimes it’s a crown of broccoli asserting its dancing ability to a bullying stalk of asparagus.

Lahore with Love: Growing Up with Girlfriends, Pakistani-Style

A poet’s power lies not only in her well-crafted images but in the rhythm of her recitation. As I read Lahore With Love, the memoir of Fawzia Afzal-Khan, I longed to hear her read the volume aloud.

I Have a Song for You

I am so excited to be reviewing a zine this month! My love of little magazines and homegrown self-publishing began as soon as my level of dexterity allowed for scissors, paste, and a stapler to be wielded with semi-precision. This love of writing, crafting, and publishing blossomed into a passionate obsession during my first year of college, when I edited the school literary journal and stayed up all night making chapbooks.

American Thighs: The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Preserving Your Assets

Jill Connor Browne, the self-proclaimed Sweet Potato Queen, is fifty-five and lives in Jackson, Mississippi. Her newest book, American Thighs, is an amusing but lightweight look at aging from an older Southern woman's point of view.

Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963

When reading fictionalized journals, one never experiences the sense of the guilt that results from a real intrusion into someone’s private thoughts and personal life. The fictive writer simply does not exist. When the journal being read belongs to someone who has had a very real public persona, the reader will always experience a few uncomfortable moments. In reading Susan Sontag’s journals, this feeling is amplified tenfold.

A Place of Belonging: Five Founding Women of Fairbanks, Alaska

The thing I remember most about my brief visit to Alaska is that even in Anchorage, I could feel the lessening of human population as soon as I stepped off of the plane.

Trailer Trashed: My Dubious Efforts Toward Upward Mobility

Hollis Gillespie is a mother, writer, friend, sister, girlfriend, daughter and more. Her third book, Trailer Trashed, is comprised of touching and hilarious essays that shed light on all the different aspects of her life.


This short film was Sushrut Jain's final project at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He plans to expand the character study into a feature length film. Shot on the street in a Mumbai suburb of the same name, Andheri does an exceptional job of communicating what it feels like to walk down the street in urban India. Every movie with an Indian scene seems to have a few crowded streets where the camera jostles and token cows, beggar children, and colorful saris move through the frame.