With not one but two new books set to publish in spring 2021, Anjali Enjeti ’91 knows who she is and what she has to say. Following a turn in the legal field, her love for writing and literature, which she credits GPS to helping shape, beckoned. From essayist to journalist, graduate instructor of creative writing, and now author, she crafts compelling stories rife with poignant prose. But her strong voice echoes far beyond the confines of the workplace—as a volunteer political organizer and activist, she spends much of her time speaking out for what she believes in. We asked her how she got to where she is and how her time at GPS had an effect on her.
Q: How did you get into what you’re doing now?
A: I got where I am through repeated failures at other things. I wanted to become a litigator (I had watched way too much Law & Order), but ended up hating law school and was a terrible lawyer. I became a journalist because no agent or publisher wanted my novels. When it comes to a career path, I’ve never been certain about anything, and truthfully, I don’t know where I’ll be in five years. I have been very lucky in life to be able to continue to find myself and chase after new interests.
Q: If you could offer one piece of advice to current GPS students, what would it be?
A: Quit things you don’t love to do. Life is too short to delay joy for some far-off goal that you’re not passionate about. Quitting isn’t letting go; it’s giving yourself a chance to start on a new journey that may bring you far more happiness.
Q: Do you stay in touch with your classmates? What impact have they had on your life?
A: I do stay in touch with a few of my classmates, including my best friend from GPS, Connie Reddan-Miller. One of our dearest friends and classmates Christie Ensign died last year. I’m so lucky to have met her at GPS and to have had a friendship with her for so long. I miss her terribly.
Q: Can you point to anything that GPS did to prepare you for your future?
A: GPS shaped my love of writing and literature. I still vividly remember Mrs. Chambliss’s ninth-grade English class, one of my favorites. We read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and watched the BBC movie in class. It’s still one of my favorite novels of all time, and I have read it dozens of times since.
Q: What is your proudest accomplishment thus far?
A: Certainly nothing that’s on my résumé—those are just things, after all. I’m most proud of my courage to speak out against what I think is wrong, no matter what the personal costs. I’m a journalist and activist—I write and talk about very tough things, and I experience backlash, sometimes significant backlash, for doing so. But I don’t let the fear get to me and press on.
Q: Are there any experiences or memories from your time at GPS that really stick out?
A: Goodness, my friends and I were obsessed with Def Leppard, and for the talent show our junior year we did a dance to “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” The choreography was dreadful, but it was truly one of the most fun experiences of my life!