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Sun Jan 22 2005 10:08:03 ET

New York-Rosanne Cash, daughter of Johnny and Vivian Cash Distin, is not entirely pleased with how "Walk the Line" portrays her family's life. "It was like it would be for anyone who saw someone else's idea of their childhood. You would say, well, some of those facts are right, but that's not what happened. That's not my experience," she tells Newsweek in the January 30 issue (on newsstands Monday, January 23). "You know, I just don't have a need to see the Hollywood version of my father's drug addiction and my parents' breakup."

Rosanne Cash also talks to Senior Writer Malcolm Jones about the public outpouring upon her father's death. "People took his death very personally. I can't tell you the amount of material I got in the mail-the songs about him, the plays about him, the stories, the essays, the paintings. And although I appreciated that people felt so deeply about it, sometimes it was profoundly intrusive," says Cash. "People I didn't know at all would come up to me in a store and begin to cry about my father's death and not bother to say, 'I'm sorry you lost your dad.' They would just go on and on about their experience of Johnny Cash."

Being a singer and songwriter in her own right, Cash, 50, dealt with the deaths-in fairly quick succession-of her father, mother and stepmother (June Carter Cash) the best way she knew how: by making art out of the experience. The stunning result, "Black Cadillac," is an album-length song cycle that maps the territory she traveled after those deaths. Wonderfully crafted, deeply felt, Cash's songs are never maudlin or sentimental. This is not just the best album she's made in a long time, writes Jones. This is the best album she's ever made.

"I sense that people are thinking this record is a document of my parents' deaths," says Cash. Yes, she says, loss was an inspiration, but it was more a jumping-off point than an end in itself. "Grief and loss lead you to other things-to an exploration of your own ancestry, to renegotiating the terms of your relationships with the dead, even to anger. So it's not just a death record or a tribute. I don't want to be the poster girl for grief and suffering."

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