Lisa Burrell

Lisa Burrell, a former associate editor of The American Prospect, writes about American music and culture.

Recent Articles

Book Review: Big John

Ring of Fire: The Johnny Cash Reader

Edited by Michael Streissguth. Da Capo Press, 352 pages, $26.00

When I was eight or so, I asked my stepfather what the difference was between Johnny Paycheck and Johnny Cash. As far as I could tell, they could be the same guy -- or related, anyway. "Big," my stepfather said, choosing, as usual, not to elaborate.

All Together, Now

We shouldn't want to watch Temptation Island, Fox's hypersexed answer to reality TV. The concept -- let's see if a bunch of alluring singles in an exotic locale can bust up a few established, if tenuous, relationships -- is offensive; the couples claiming to test their love, shallow and vain.

Love, Sorrow, and Rage; Destitute Women in a Manhattan Residence

Love, Sorrow, and Rage: Destitute Women in a Manhattan Residence, by Alisse Waterston. Temple University Press, 234 pages, $59.50.

Interstate Hero

Truckers operate outside all sorts of boundaries. They know the whole country better than most of us know our own towns. They pick up hitchhikers. They speak in code. And a good part of America is enthralled. Kids in sedans throw desperate air-horn gestures out backseat windows in search of one reciprocating honk. We eat at truck stops and diners because if truckers eat there, the food must be good. (Never mind that at an actual truck stop, romanticism gives way to hamloaf, coin-op showers, and condom vending machines.)

Knockin' on Dylan's Door

Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña, David Hajdu. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 328 pages, $25.00.

Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan, Howard Sounes. Grove Press, 527 pages, $27.50.