Comments by Laura Wiens

Comment for "Civil War Widows"

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Review of Civil War Widows

The voices of the women are really incredible--brought tears to my eyes-- their accents, their choices of words are really emblematic of another era and place. The producer does a great job mirroring their two stories, reminding us that despite the great divide between North and South, black and white, the joys/comforts of marraige and the hardships of the Great Depression were shared across the country.The other reviewer is right is saying that it's really not a piece on the Civil War, but rather a very honest portrait of two women-- the story of 20-some year old women marrying 80+ men in the early 1900s is inherently pretty fascinating. My only criticism is that I would have preferred a shorter narrative lead in and lead out.

Comment for "The Valentine 1955"

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Review of The Valentine 1955

This piece uses music as background almost all the way through, but its use feels nonetheless very sparing; I was pleased that it never distracts the listener from the deep, textured voice of the speaker. The piece is of a perfect length-- the producer manages to bring us back to the heart of the fifties racial tensions in a matter of 2 short minutes-- and the final twist in the narration is haunting but very satisfying in a way that unsaccharine endings are.
This would be a good piece to play on any show on desegregation, and on Valentine's day, to illuminate the topic from a very different angle.
Highly recommended. (I might add that although I chose "raw" as one of the adjectives, I am referring to the ambiance of the piece and not the sound quality, which is very professional.)