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Star, legend, icon, EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner) – these are words often used to describe the radiant Audrey Hepburn. Born in Belgium in 1929, Hepburn lived her early life in the Netherlands, barely survived World War II and afterward moved to London to train as a ballerina.
When I first read Michelle Zauner’s New Yorker essay “Crying in H Mart,” about dealing with the loss of her mother, I couldn’t get the cover of her 2016 debut album, Psychopomp, out of my head. It’s a candid shot of two women, the outline of a roof behind them against the backdrop of a dream-bright blue sky. The woman on the left, Zauner’s mother, is young, dressed in stylish 80s office casual, and frozen in a gesture of reaching out at the camera. It’s hard to tell if she’s smiling, though the woman next to her is laughing. It’s a visualization of Japanese Breakfast’s esthetic: sonically reaching towards the past, but with lyrics full of yearning.
At this point most readers don’t think of history as “the exact factual record of what definitely happened in the past.” Though there are as many different ways to phrase the idea as there are people expressing it (“History is written by the victors,” for example), I think it’s generally agreed upon that what we call “history” is a group project filled with agendas, biases, contexts, compromises, and broad agreements, that strives to help the present and the future through a better understanding of the past. But what does that idea look like in practice?
Known primarily as a playwright, Lillian Hellman (1905 – 1984) also wrote memoirs – An Unfinished Woman (1969), Pentimento: A Book of Portraits (1973) and Scoundrel Time (1976). And a novel – Maybe: A Story (1980).
I have seen Brandi Carlile perform many times, and reader? I recommend it.
I’ve seen Brandi Carlile sing “Angel from Montgomery” with John Prine at the Newport Folk Festival, a handful of years before he passed away.