by Sejal Shah
West Virginia University Press, 2024
eISBN: 978-1-959000-14-3 | Paper: 978-1-959000-13-6
Library of Congress Classification PS3619.H3483H69 2024
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.6

From the author of This Is One Way to Dance, linked genre-queer short stories braided with images and ephemera explore the experiences of growing up and living as a diasporic Gujarati woman searching for home.
In the eleven linked short stories of How to Make Your Mother Cry, Sejal Shah builds a shrine gleaming with memory and myth. Keys, rocks, photographs, fairy tales, fables, and relics all add texture and meaning to an exploration of growing up and living as a diasporic Gujarati woman in a culture that excuses the behavior of men. Throughout, girls and women contend with the expectations, limitations, and challenges of becoming the heroine of one’s own life.
How to Make Your Mother Cry—Shah’s follow-up to her award-winning essay collection This Is One Way to Dance—continues the rich tradition of innovative feminist work by Claudia Rankine, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Maxine Hong Kingston. By braiding stories and images with fictional letters to a beloved English teacher, the collection defies traditional autofiction, epistolary, and short story conventions. These astonishing stories about friendship and love, resilience and survival establish Shah as an exciting new voice in contemporary fiction.