When she was ten-years-old, in 1984, Anjali Enjeti moved from a Detroit suburb to Chattanooga. The twenty essays in this collection illuminate both personal and universal experiences that jolted her as her growing awareness of social issues coincided with her experience of life in the South from the perspective of having lived in the North and also often spending summers with relatives in India. Her essays address a plethora of topics including the AIDS epidemic, guns, evangelical Christianity, racism, and voter suppression. Since 2006, she has lived in the Atlanta suburbs and now teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Reinhardt University. She has been active recently in efforts to encourage immigrant populations to vote in Georgia.
“This is a book I hope every American reads.” -- Porochista Khakpour. “Southbound is required reading for these times.”--Jessica Handler. “Southbound is a potent tonic for our times―ambitious in its scope and refreshing in its candor. These are fiercely intelligent essays that examine the complexities of how power works on, through, and maybe even for us. Recommended reading.” -- Lacy M. Johnson. “In 20 essays that combine the literary tools of memoir, reportage, poetry, and non-linear storytelling, the author works to reclaim her identity on her own terms.” -- Chris Moody.
Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2021. 230 pages with notes. Trade paperback.