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Tue August 17, 2010
Rosanne Cash is Composed
How fitting that Rosanne Cash's new memoir is titled Composed. Cash is a superlative composer, whether she's writing songs or prose.
By Up to Date
The eldest child of Johnny Cash and his first wife, Vivian Liberto, Rosanne grew up in the music world. But she has a real passion for writing.
In a recent interview, she said, "E.L. Doctorow said it very succinctly. Writing is like driving at night in that you can only see as far as the headlights, but that can get you all the way home. You're not sure where you're going, and I was surprised at where this book took me. Delighted and sometimes shocked, too. You have to put yourself in the zone, that space where you're sitting before the paper. Just trust it and go there."
Steve Kraske talks with Rosanne Cash about her new book, Composed, and her love of writing.
Learn more about Rosanne Cash on her website.
The eldest child of Johnny Cash and his first wife, Vivian Liberto, Rosanne Cash was born in Memphis, Tennessee on May 24, 1955. After her parents separated, she and her three sisters grew up in California.
At 18 she joined The Johnny Cash Show, further absorbing his influence along with that of his legendary touring show partners Carl Perkins and the Carter Family. The Carter Family's June Carter later became Rosanne's stepmother when she married Cash in 1968.
Rosanne went on to study drama at Nashville's Vanderbilt University and at the Lee Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles before focusing on her music. In the 30 years since she has released 12 albums including Right or Wrong, Seven Year Ache,Somewhere in the Stars, Rhythm and Romance, King's Record Shop, Interiors, The Wheel, 10 Song Demo, Rules of Travel, Black Cadillac, and most recently, The List. She has also recorded 11 No. 1 singles, blurring the genres of country, rock, roots and pop. In 1985 she won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female, for her hit "I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me," and has received nine other nominations.
Her highly personal yet universally appealing writing style is also manifest in her parallel prose career. Rosanne published a collection of short stories, Bodies of Water, in 1995, and a children's book, Penelope Jane: A Fairy's Tale, in 2000. Composed, her long-awaited memoir, was published in 2010. Additionally, her essays and fiction have appeared in various collections and publications, including The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, The Oxford American and New York Magazine.
The mother of five children, Rosanne lives in New York City with her husband, producer and guitarist John Leventhal, and her youngest child.