Growing up in rural Idaho, Tara Westover had no birth certificate, never saw a doctor and didn't go to school. Her parents were religious fundamentalists who stockpiled food, mistrusted the government and believed in strict gender roles for their seven children.
It's a time-honored tradition for novelists to draw material from their own lives, and author Tom Perrotta is no exception. His 2004 book, Little Children, sprang from his experience as the parent of young kids. Three years later, he published The Abstinence Teacher, which was inspired, in part, by the junior-high and high-school sports his children played at the time.
In Drake Doremus' drama Like Crazy, a young couple is forced to separate when one of them violates the terms of her student visa. Movie critic David Edelstein says the movie is painful and compelling -- and reminds him of Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise.
The winner of the inaugural Queer Palm at Cannes, Gregg Araki's Kaboom is a freewheeling apocalyptic comedy centered around a sexually curious college freshman. Critic David Edelstein says the exhilarating movie is "part Blake Edwards, part David Lynch."
Matt Bennett is the founder of Christian Union, an organization of evangelicals at Ivy League schools whose goal is to reach those who will go on to become part of America's academic elite. The group operates ministry centers at Brown, Cornell and Princeton universities. Bennett, a graduate of Cornell, founded the organization in 2002. Rachel Blair is a student at Princeton and is a member of Christian Union.