This Is One Way to Dance: Essays

Sejal Shah. Univ. of Georgia, $22.95 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-0-8203-5723-2
The poetic, probing debut from short story writer and essayist Shah forcefully tackles the complicated intersection of “identity, language, movement, family, place, and race.” Written over two decades, starting in 1999, the selections explore her Gujarati Indian heritage, her upbringing in western New York, and her time in Massachusetts and New York City teaching creative writing. Closely attentive to nuances of race, she reflects on the marginal status accorded South Asian identity in both popular culture and academic writing. Whether remembering what Mira Nair’s early film Mississippi Masala meant to her (“The desire to see one’s self and community reflected runs deep”) or reminiscing on her childhood home (“Ranch houses, when I was growing up, were not cool,” but her family’s was the place she “always felt safe”), Shah is insightfully self-reflective. She also makes lyrical use of language, as when she ruminates on summer nights that have “a particular kind of warm, which is not too hot, not too humid, not anything but enough to make you glad that your skin is the only layer between you and the world.” In this sterling collection, Shah has created a striking self-portrait. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/26/2020
Release date: 06/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 978-0-8203-5724-9
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