TueNight 10: Sejal Shah

(In my backyard, late May in Rochester, NY, a week or two before my book launched)

Age: 47

Bio: Sejal Shah‘s debut essay collection, This Is One Way to Dance, was published by University of Georgia Press in June 2020. Publishers Weekly says, “Shah forcefully tackles the complicated intersection of ‘identity, language, movement, family, place, and race’…[she] has created a striking self-portrait.”

Beyond the Bio: I love caring much less about what other people think. Books matter more to me than clothes. Since the pandemic, I’m not coloring my hair and it’s sometimes shocking to see the grey, but also freeing. This is me.

What makes you a grown-ass lady? Knowing I’d rather stay in than go out and being good with that. Joy of missing out (JOMO!). Understanding that when other people behave badly, it’s about them. To not take it personally. Also: boundaries. Knowing them, enforcing them.

Here’s her TueNight 10:

1. On the nightstand: CBD Balm with arnica and ginger, pens, books, lilac-scented lotion.

2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: Alone time is a necessity.

3. Jam of the minute: This atmospheric cover of “Cruel Summer” by Kari Kimmel for this new Netflix show my spouse was watching called Cobra Kai.

4. Thing I miss: Living next door to my friends (college); walking to work (New York City).

5. ’80s crush: John Cusack (of course) and the actor who played Gil on the PBS adaptation Anne of Green Gables.

6. Current crush: My husband. Calvin, the baby next door.

7. Latest fave find: Fresh flowers (backyard) in the house make everything better.

8. Last thing you lost: Perfect black summer weight sweater (somewhere in the house).

9. Best thing that happened recently: Hike with our neighbors to Chimney Bluffs State Park on the shores of Lake Ontario, an hour away; I’d never been there.

10. Looking forward to: Sinking into fiction. Fall hikes. A regular routine after the crazy schedule of pandemic online book promotion & first-time virtual low-residency MFA teaching this summer.

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