Writer Daniel Nester says that if he gets a bit full of himself, “a little ‘Shader’ appears on my shoulder to cut through the pretension.”
“Shader” is South Jersey-speak for a native or resident of Maple Shade, the proudly unpretentious Burlington County burb that provides the title and much of the setting for Nester’s pungent new memoir.
“Being a Shader is about being no-nonsense and having a blue-collar outlook,” Nester, 47, says from the College of St. Rose in Albany, N.Y., where he is an associate professor of English. “It’s an attitude, but it’s also like my conscience.”
Deftly written in brisk chapters with names like “Notes on Shader Record Nerds,” Shader (99: The Press) is Nester’s fifth book. Earlier publications include poetry and humor collections, as well as two volumes of ruminations on the band Queen.