The Boomstick Film Club: The Naked Prey


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Sitting down to watch The Naked Prey last night, all I knew about it was that it scared the bejesus out of my boyfriend when he saw it as a kid. Coming from him, this is a ringing endorsement. The brief narration at the beginning of the film explains that in the harsh landscape of southern Africa, “man… became like the beasts, and their way of life was his.” I was a bit concerned that we’d just had the moral of the film served to us on a platter before the story could begin. But the film that unfolded was far more complex.

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Interview with Belle Boggs


The Art of Waiting is a hybrid memoir from Belle Boggs, author of the 2010 novel Mattaponi Queen. It tells the story of Boggs’s journey through infertility and IVF, but it also examines fertility, motherhood, and assisted reproduction, and how these fit into our society and culture. Drawing from medicine, theater, literature, personal experience, anecdotes, and biology, Boggs writes about motherhood in a smart, unsentimental, incisive way.

I knew from the moment I read about this book on a friend’s Facebook post that I had to read it. As a medical writer with a degree in maternal-child health and a background working in ob/gyn, and as a new mother who used assisted reproductive technology to conceive my son, I can tell you this: The Art of Waiting does not disappoint. Boggs’s prose is quiet but powerful, and she did her research in every way.

Jamie Rochelle Herndon: This is not merely a memoir; it feels to me like a cultural exploration/commentary/criticism, almost a sociological memoir, if that makes sense. What made you decide to write it like that, instead of a straight memoir? Continue reading

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America This is Quite Serious: Rough Trade

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Yesterday, the New York Times declared that “The phase of globalization that began with the ending of World War II is essentially over.”

At one time, interest in a story bearing this news would have been limited to a small circle of wonks and activists, people who use terms like “hegemony” and have strong feelings about the G8. Over the years there has been the occasional meaningful populist uproar over NAFTA, and I spent a brief period in college refusing to buy certain brands because of their overseas factory conditions, but for the most part, most Americans have had little to no opinion on globalization over the past 30 years. It’s not that anyone really loves it, but most people seem pretty ¯_(ツ)_/¯ about where their stuff is made. Consumers have not indicated on a large scale that they will pay more for U.S. made goods when they can pay less for the same gear made in China, Mexico, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Vietnam, etc. and so on.

But that was all before the 2016 presidential election. Continue reading

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Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Suki Kim


Suki Kim is an investigative journalist, novelist, and the only writer ever to live undercover in North Korea. In 2011, Kim Jong Il’s final year, Kim spent six months posing as a Christian missionary and an English teacher in Pyongyang, documenting the psychology of the future leaders of North Korea, which resulted in her New York Times bestselling work of literary nonfiction, Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea’s Elite. Kim has also written for the New York Times, New York Review of Books, Harper’s, and The New Republic, where she is a contributing editor. Her first novel, The Interpreter, was a finalist for a PEN Hemingway Prize. Born and raised in Seoul, Kim lives in New York.

EB: How did you begin writing nonfiction?

SK: My first book was a novel. But the very month The Interpreter was published was actually the same month that my first longform nonfiction was published. For me, it was always a natural transition. They are both prose I feel comfortable in so I can’t recall a point when it all began. Perhaps it’s about the subject. Some subjects require nonfiction, and in this case, the topic of my first nonfiction was North Korea. Continue reading

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IQ by Joe Ide comes out today!

It’s the debut novel by Joe Ide, a Japanese American who grew up in South Central LA reading Sherlock Holmes stories. His protagonist is a high-school dropout who solves cases the police won’t touch. This time, it’s a rap mogul whose life is in danger. IQ is witty, fresh, and profoundly entertaining.

We asked the author one question.

How are you celebrating the publication of IQ? Continue reading

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Y, FLA: Halloween 2001

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Hell is truth seen too late.

— Thomas Hobbes

He knew they were doomed as any couple in the history of rotten love. He’d known it long before, actually, and yet he’d driven out here anyway, to this land of barbequed ribs and noxious air, and magicians and cretins and drunks.

The same imbecilic logic of old had held for them, as well: if they ran fast enough, they figured, if they put distance enough between them and their filth, they might still have a chance at life.

But though they’d only dragged their filth along, it wasn’t till the moment he appeared before her in his tee shirt stained with gravy and cheese, his face painted blue and teeth all black—a 240-pound fiend covered in tattoos—that the extent of their imbecility had obtained in full, the repulsion in her eyes, had he somehow doubted, its awful confirmation.

She was in the bathroom, turning herself into a “sexy gothic Martian.”

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