Get To Know: Kendra James

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Kendra James (she/her) was a founding editor at Shondaland.com where she wrote and edited work for two years. She has been heard and seen on NPR and podcasts including “Thirst Aid Kit,” “Three Swings,” “Star Trek: The Pod Directive,” “The Canon,” and “Al Jazeera.” Her writing has been published widely from Elle, Marie Claire, Women’s Health Magazine, Lenny, The Verge, Harpers, Catapult, and The Toast, among others.
Admissions gives a sharp-witted and deeply insightful look into the storied world of elite prep schools from the first African-American legacy student to graduate from The Taft School. With its combination of incisive social critique and uproarious depictions of elite nonsense, Admissions will resonate with anyone who has ever dealt with racial microaggressions, or even just suffered from an extreme case of homesickness!
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I think I always knew that I would end up writing about boarding school in some way, whether it was some sort of clinical retelling of a school’s history or writing YA about some fictional boarding school for special children. It became a memoir immediately after my 10 year high school reunion when I was kind of forced to put some real thought into rethinking and finally reframing my whole experience. I realized I had a lot to work through still, and the writing process — as informal as it was at that point — helped.

What are you listening to?The soundtracks to the movies Idlewild and The Harder They Fall.

I was a historical fiction nut who loved anything written by Ann Rinaldi– I still have my original copy of Time Enough for Drums. I think I was doing some of my best reading in middle school; books from the Outlander series, Animorphs, The Vampire Diaries, and anything by Ann Rice or romances by Jude Deveraux were also in heavy rotation.

 

I’m a Capricorn sun, Cancer moon, Capricorn rising, and it is unfortunately quite accurate, yes. I hate group projects and get extremely emotional about it.

What darling did you kill and why?One Goth Christmas, a trip to Trash & Vaudeville, and the story of why I had to fake a British accent at a store in the city for over a decade.

 

 

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