Best Of 2009, Guest Editors: Rick Moody On “Prodigal Sons”

As 2009 has come to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors. Today’s entry is from November 11. Here, Rick Moody writes about documentary Prodigal Sons, which will have a limited theater release soon.

RickMoodyThe name Rick Moody will be familiar to anyone who keeps current with American writing. He’s the recipient of several awards and fellowships, including the Pushcart Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir, and his lauded 1994 novel The Ice Storm was filmed by director Ang Lee. Moody is hanging around the MAGNET shop this week mostly because of his side job as one-quarter of the Wingdale Community Singers, a remarkable collection of writers, musicians and artists of varying stripes. Once pegged as an “urban folk” group that wrote old-timey songs about modern topics such as cross-dressers and funky Brooklyn culture, the Wingdales just released their second album, Spirit Duplicator, on the Scarlet Shame label. In addition to his writing and recording projects, Moody is guest editing this week. Read our Q&A with him.

prodigal-sons525Moody: I don’t want to give away too much about this documentary, which is soon going to get a little limited theatrical release (in early 2010) before showing on the IFC channel, but it has to do, in part, with two brothers, one adopted, one not, going back to their 20th high-school reunion (the adopted one got left back a year, so that two are in the same class), except that the one brother never finished school and got in a motorcycle accident, after which some important parts of his brain were removed, and the other brother, the high-school-football quarterback and class valedictorian, became a woman. The drama of all this is much more than this thumbnail suggests. Kimberly Reed’s Prodigal Sons is definitely among the very best documentaries I’ve seen in years.