Alumni Updates: Grace Perry ‘04

By Grace Perry ‘04, NNM Alum

I’m a writer living in Los Angeles. My first book, “The 2000s Made Me Gay,” came out in 2021. It’s a humor-driven essay collection that blends memoir and pop culture criticism. Basically, it’s a book about my thoughts about my feelings about TV. Work-wise, I’m currently in-between big projects, so I can’t share anything without feeling like I’ll majorly jinx myself.

I love camping and spending time outside — I’ve actually been learning how to surf. It’s very hard and I am not very good, to be clear, but spotting dolphins makes the whole near-drowning thing worth it. I’m a big puzzle person, and tinkering with a side-project strangely helps me stay focused while writing. If I feel stuck or blocked, I’ll do a crossword, or futz around with that crooked shelf, or reorganize the kitchen cabinets — that’s typically when I’ll have the Aha! moment I need. 

My earliest memory (ever) is from Jan Szostek’s 3-6 class. Jan was showing me how to use a stencil to trace a triangle, and asked me to pick three colored pencils to color in the triangle. I picked three purple pencils. (I was a lady who knew what I liked.) Jan encouraged me to mix it up a bit, maybe try a red or a yellow along with the purple. Wise advice, in retrospect. I attribute any/all time management and self-motivation abilities to my Montessori education, that’s for sure. But I’ve also retained an ability to trust my gut, creatively and intellectually — to follow rabbit holes as far as they go, if for no other purpose than to feed my own curiosity. That feels very NNM to me. Oh, and also, I still have a mean dodgeball arm.